ASIS Foundation Report Explores Gun Violence in the Workplace

Workplace violence affects more than two million workers in the United States every year and accounts for about 20 percent of all violent crime. That's according to "Preventing Gun Violence in the Workplace," a Connecting Research in Security to Practice (CRISP) Report commissioned by the ASIS Foundation. The report also finds that even though most workplace violence is not fatal, an average of 500 homicides occur in U.S. workplaces each year, at a cost of $800,000 for each death.

"This report addresses the problem of gun violence in the workplace and strategies to prevent it," says Martin Gill, chair of the ASIS Foundation Research Council. Its geographic focus is the United States because of the unique protections the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives to the possession and carrying of firearms.

"More than three-quarters of workplace homicides are committed with guns," author Dana Loomis writes. "About two-thirds of workplace homicides are related to robbery; the remainder result from conflicts between workers and clients, coworkers, acquaintances or family members."

The report begins with a description of the broad problem of workplace violence and then discusses factors contributing to gun violence in the workplace, responses to the problem, challenges to those responses, and research on the effectiveness of various responses. Finally, specific actions are recommended along with a summary of future research needs.

While specific information about how to prevent gun violence on the job is scarce, a comprehensive, written policy prohibiting weapons in the workplace is an essential part of an employer's violence-prevention plan, Loomis concludef. Research suggests that workplaces that prohibit weapons are significantly less likely to experience a worker homicide than workplaces that allow guns.

To download a copy of the CRISP Report "Preventing Gun Violence in the Workplace," go to http://www.asisonline.org/foundation/guns.pdf.

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