A school teacher was shot dead by her estranged husband at work a few years back. Two children were caught up in the crossfire: One student survived, the second unfortunately did not. Then the killer committed suicide.
This devastating case of workplace violence took place in a special education classroom in California.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that homicide accounts for 8 percent of all workplace deaths. As grim a statistic that is, the situation for women is even worse. When a male employee is murdered, it will typically be financially-motivated -- as in the homicide occurs in the course and scope of a robbery.
For women, the situation is much more personal.
When a female worker is murdered, the perpetrator more often than not is someone they know, such as a spouse or other intimate partner.
Employers who wish to mitigate the risk of domestic/workplace violence should bear in mind that it's not just the one woman who is at risk when her estranged partner comes looking for her. The safety of everyone in the vicinity is potentially compromised, because these situations often involve rage and uncontrolled anger.
The man who killed his teacher/wife and one of her students and wounded another gained access to to her classroom with few questions asked. He was known to be the teacher's husband. This type of situation occurs in countless workplaces every day. No one knew a deadly domestic situation was brewing at home when he was let in that school with a hidden firearm.
A tip to help lessen the chance of a domestic confrontation at work is to institute a policy which bars any non-employee to enter the workplace during business hours.