As I sit and digest the news of yet another workplace shooting...this time in St. Louis...I have to wonder when businesses are going to start taking security more seriously.
While it's too early to comment specifically on the St. Louis incident, acts of workplace violence have been on the increase and it seems businesses are slow to react to that trend. Frequently, businesses have little to no physical security that would prevent, or at least minimize, these often deadly incidents. The potential liability of such inaction astounds me, yet businesses seem willing to roll the dice.
An effective program would start in the hiring process. While not foolproof, properly performed background checks can frequently identify job candidates with a potential for problems. But the vast majority of businesses do very limited, if any, screening.
Another problem lies within most businesses not paying attention to what is actually going on in the workplace. In many cases where violence has erupted, there were telltale indicators that could have and should have been noticed.
False Sense of Security
When it comes to physical security, some businesses do attempt to put security measures in place, but often times they are too little and too late. And more often than not those measures consist of low wage security officers with little to no training and insufficient equipment.
Style Over Substance
We often hear from businesses who talk a good game. They want the latest and greatest in security personnel and technology. But when they get the estimate for what it is going to cost they quickly backpeddle and settle for something far cheaper and virtually ineffective. Their only concern is the appearance of security, rather than actual security that is pro-active and effective in minimizing and/or eliminating violent acts.