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Workplace Shooting in Illinois Highlights Need for Armed Security

The recent shooting at a Henry Pratt Co. office in Aurora, Illinois, has once again put the national spotlight on workplace violence, particularly shootings carried out by disgruntled employees. According to reports, the gunman killed five workers and wounded five police officers after he was fired from the company.

This tragic incident highlights the fact that workplace violence is a major issue impacting American workers. In fact, the federal government says more than 2 million Americans report being victims of workplace violence each year.

According to Kathleen Bonczyk, the founder and executive director of the Workplace Violence Prevention Institute, “The point of termination is perhaps the greatest opportunity for deadly workplace violence,” especially for longer-term employees. “It's almost like a divorce from a family. Americans today tend to spend more time at work than they do even at home. They tend to have more lunches, dinners, meals, time spent with their coworkers. You're severing perhaps the most stable relationship that the employee may have,” said Bonczyk.

Workplace Violence Statistics

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health puts workplace violence incidents into four categories:

  • Criminal Intent
  • Customer / Client
  • Worker-On-Worker
  • Personal Relationship

Statistics show that workplace violence caused by personal relationships overwhelmingly targets women. In 2013, workplace violence-related deaths and injuries across various occupations had the following statistics:

  • Education & Health Services: 35 deaths, 22,590 injuries
  • Professional & Business Services: 65 deaths, 4,460 injuries
  • Government: 128 deaths, 37,110 injuries
  • Leisure & Hospitality: 107 deaths, 2,380 injuries
  • Retail: 127 deaths, 2,680 injuries
  • Transportation & Warehousing: 71 deaths, 840 injuries
  • Financial Activities: 37 deaths, 1,100 injuries
  • Manufacturing: 36 deaths, 570 injuries
  • Construction: 36 deaths, 680 injuries

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines an active shooter as someone "actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area." The following are the 2010 statistics for workplace homicides due to active shooters, by industry:

  • Education & Health Services: 4%
  • Professional & Business Services: 4%
  • Government: 17%
  • Leisure & Hospitality: 15%
  • Retail: 27%
  • Transportation & Warehousing: 8%
  • Financial Activities: 6%
  • Manufacturing: 3%
  • Wholesale Trade: 5%

The Impact of Workplace Violence on Businesses

Data shows that close to half-million employees miss an estimated 1.8 million workdays each year because of workplace violence. This causes businesses to lose more than $55 million in wages. Today, the annual comprehensive cost to businesses is $130 billion. In 1995 it was $36 billion. Business also have to worry about the costs of lawsuits for negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent supervision, and inadequate security if there is a workplace shooting. In fact, the average out-of-court settlement is $500,000, while the average jury award is $3 million.

Armed Security Services in Sarasota

At Capital Protection & Investigations our team of security professionals are committed to helping you keep your business and employees safe. All of our guards are retired police officers who have years of experience dealing with conflicts and crises. Our security professionals are fully licensed and trained, and will provide you with the highest level of security to ensure your operations run smoothly.

Call (888) 364-6185 today to schedule a free consultation to find out more about the armed security services we offer at Capital Protection & Investigations.