While incidents still remain rare, the number of people killed by a co-worker rose from 24 percent from 2011 to 2014.
Some speculate that the increase is due to worker frustration over stagnant wages, economic pressures and increasing performance pressure at work.
Companies can reduce risk with three-pronged approach:
Handle terminations properly. No one should ever be taken completely off guard by a firing. Document issues and communicate thoroughly long before termination becomes an option on the table. Once a decision has been made to terminate an employee, deliver the news with sensitivity, integrity and resolve. If a reduction in force is necessary due to shifting business needs or for other reasons, give employees ample notice. Check out more best practices here.
Include workplace violence prevention in your training. Training guides are available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Workers should also know how to respond if an active shooter shows up at work. The Department of Homeland Security has developed educational materials teaching people to run, hide or fight in an active shooter situation.
Make active shooter detection part of your building systems. The Guardian Active Shooter Detection system instantly detects when a shot is fired, and automatically and accurately communicates the location of the shooter to emergency responders and other critical systems. Active shooter detection systems cut through the confusion during the critical first few minutes of an incident and reduce response times significantly.