It is unfortunate that workplace attacks are such a common occurrence that regular statistics are kept. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a total of 74 fatal workplace injuries reported in Arkansas in 2015. Of this number, nine were due to workplace attacks. This amounts to 12%.
Among other things, workplace attacks add to the violent crime average. Workplace attack does not always involve disgruntled employees. As declared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the assailant has no known relationship to the victims in two-thirds of workplace homicides. Additionally, many people who commit workplace attack have something else going on in their lives such as mental illness, drug abuse, divorce or what they may believe is a failure.
What are Some of the Indicators and Risk Factors for Attacks in the Workplace?
There are several signs and risk factors for workplace attacks. If employers and employees pay close attention to the warning signs and risk factors, workplace attack could potentially be prevented from happening in the first place.
Little known fact: workplace attacks are not always committed by a disgruntled employee. The following risk factors reflect risks for workplace attack perpetrated by an outside assailant who is not an employee:
Risk Factors for Attack in the Workplace from an Outside Assailant
- Working alone or in an isolated area
- Where alcohol is served
- Working late at night
- Working in high crime rate areas
- An environment where money is exchanged with the public
As a whole, there are also risk factors for workplace attack committed by disgruntled employees and outside assailants:
Indicators for Workplace Attacks as a Whole
- Verbal threats to other employees
- Displaying paranoia
- A fascination with violence
- Bizarre behaviors
- Being unreasonable
- Irresponsible actions
- A vindictive nature
- Chronic depression
- Substance / Alcohol Abuse
- Changes in performance
Five Surprising Acts of Workplace Attacks in Arkansas
The threat of attack in the workplace is real. Moreover, these statistics validate the reality that attacks in the workplace is often a deadly incident that can happen to any business.
- May 15, 2014 – Keyontae Johnson, 18, of Pine Bluff, robbed Bank of the Ozarks by showing a pistol to the teller. He got an undisclosed amount of cash and fled. Police say that he is a suspect in other robberies in the area.
- June 25, 2014 – An unnamed assailant in Little Rock robbed Arvest Bank with a firearm. He was given cash and got away. To date, the assailant has not been caught or identified.
- July 12, 2014 – An unnamed assailant in Little Rock robbed a Simmons Bank after showing the teller a gun. The robber demanded money and the teller complied. The robber was later taken to a local hospital after complaining of chest pains while in police custody.
- July 25. 2014 – An unnamed assailant in Little Rock robbed a Walgreens by flashing a gun at an employee’s face. He later fled on foot.
- July 1, 2017 – Multiple unnamed shooters in Little Rock opened fire at the Power Ultra Lounge, a nightclub located in downtown Little Rock. A rap concert was going on at the time. Police believe the shooting stemmed from a disagreement between concertgoers. The club had its license revoked several times, most recently as a result of the shooting.
How to Avoid Workplace Attacks
Proper planning and training can significantly reduce the injuries and victimization caused by workplace attack. Security, whether it is staff or just general procedures, should be taken extremely seriously. Several safety measures that can help reduce victimization include an incident response plan, panic button system, and surveillance cameras.
The first minute of a workplace attack incident is the most critical moment of a company’s emergency response. Simple steps, such as knowing where building exits are located, can help boost survival in the case of workplace attack.
There is no one failsafe way to prevent instances of workplace attack. However, technologies offered by CRS Notify can lessen the chances of victimization. CRS Notify panic buttons can notify authorities in an instant with E911 integration. Additionally, those who are set to receive alerts can know what is happening and plan accordingly.
In conclusion, it is important for staff to become familiar with attack prevention and incident response plans within the facility. Without these kinds of policies in place, staff may not know how to act in the face of an emergency. Furthermore, when certain policies are enacted, employees can be more confident in their reactions. It is always smart to trust intuition when something just doesn’t seem right. Suspicious behavior should always be reported. Remember: informed employees can help keep workplace attack and the repercussions of workplace attack down to a minimum.
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