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Louisiana Workplace Violence

Posted by Tamara

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated in its annual report that homicides in the workplace are decreasing. However, employers should still be aware of this hazard. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) adds that the number of homicides has decreased by 50% since 1994, when the highest number of workplace homicides were reported.

In addition, workplace violence itself is on the decline. Incidents of assaults and violent acts decrease by 5% from 2005 to 2006, going from 792 to 754, respectively. The U. S. Department of Labor verifies that workplace violence in Louisiana and across America is on the decline.

While the incidents have decreased, public awareness of workplace violence may be on the upswing. Several high-profile cases of workplace homicide have dominated the news.

Delaware State University recently experienced a tragic shooting of two students near the sports arena. The entire campus of 1,700 was immediately locked down, confining the students to their dorm rooms. Dover police were assisted by several law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and have made an arrest.

Perhaps the most tragic event was the Virginia Tech massacre on April, 16, 2007. On that date, 32 students and staff were killed. The assailant, Seung-Hui Cho chained the doors of a campus building shut and opened fire. In addition to the 32 deaths, 17 other were wounded before Cho turned his Glock 19 on himself.

Later it was discovered that Cho had murdered two people in a nearby dorm room. The University was criticized by some for not shutting down the campus, and the police for the homicides as “a domestic dispute”. Investigation into the shooting revealed that Cho had a history of irrational behavior, was a loner, was prone to fits of rage and possessed an unhealthy interest in weapons. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) identified these characteristics as warning signals of workplace violence.

Cho also had a history of mental health problems, but was not being treated for them.

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