Magazine article Security Management

Over the Edge

Magazine article Security Management

Over the Edge

Article excerpt

Workplace violence is becoming commonplace in America. According to Breaking Point, a report released by Behavior Analysts & Consultants, Inc., (BA&C) of Stuart, Florida, and The National Safe Workplace Institute in Chicago, workplace violence has cost U.S. companies more than $4 billion in 1992, and one serious incident can easily cost an individual employer $250,000 or more.

The phenomenon, which the Centers for Disease Control declared a national epidemic, is partly caused by the availability of guns and the glamorization of violence by the media, says the report. It is also a cultural trend driven by a lack of societal support.

The report, which was written by Joseph Kinney, executive director of the institute and Dennis L. Johnson, president of BA&C, compares American society with that of other modern countries. It found that countries with lower rates of workplace homicide have economic systems that support full employment, legal systems that prevent crime and protect citizens, and a cultural system that promotes orderly behavior.

The authors analyzed 125 cases of workplace homicide. They found that the motives in these cases varied, but the main characteristics of the perpetrator remained the same. The person most likely to commit this crime is a male (97.5 percent) age 35 years or older (average age 36.1). Most have a history of violence against woman, children, or animals; of military service; of substance abuse; or of mental health problems (16 percent had mental health histories or were diagnosed in retrospect; 23. …

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