The article below is a perfect example of workplace violence at its apex in terms of severity. What kind of signs were given before this incident occurred? Were the signs obvious, or only obvious to those in a close proximity with the people involved?

These are the types of questions that will inherently be posed to the management team at this particular location as the investigation progresses. Further to that, there will no doubt be extensive training on how to combat any type of repeat. Proactively combating this type of situation is always the best course to take; however, what are some of the ways in which this can be accomplished?

When an event such as this occurs we are only left with questions; none the less, since June 15, 2010 we are also expected to come up with answers. We are expected to have a program in place to deal with these episodes by way of a non-reactionary process.

Was the accused under stress at home, did the accused recently make a big purchase compelling them to over work themselves? Perhaps the taboo subjects of politics, religion or even race played a part, or was it strictly a personal issue with the victim? Had employees come forward previously making complaints of the situation that existed hoisting up the red flags?

When the result is violence to this degree we have to assume that those working peripherally with these two individuals would have seen signs in their actions or changes in their attitudes. This type of workplace violence not only affects those directly involved, it also affects everyone in the organization. Being witness to a crime of this magnitude will no doubt create a radiating stress throughout the location resulting in a demand for counseling as a de-escalation method for those affected.

Just as everyone is affected by workplace violence, similarly it takes everyone’s contribution to facilitate its avoidance. A new trend that seems to be developing throughout a number of organizations is an anonymous tip line. The majority of any non-management workforce in any business simply wishes to go unnoticed and not make any waves by coming forward with any information that could incriminate a co-worker; in fact it’s their preference to avoid the HR offices at all costs and remain “under the radar”. A tip line where no identifier of the informant is needed has become a much more inviting method to include those that wish to enforce a harmonious work environment.

Due diligence seems to be the term that is widely thrown around much more these days when it comes to workplace violence of any level; the question is, if this was to happen in your organization could you confidently say that you did yours?