Expert: prepare now for workplace violence

Expert: prepare now for workplace violence

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A still from video released by police of Aaron Alexis as he enters the Washington Navy Yard. A still from video released by police of Aaron Alexis as he enters the Washington Navy Yard.
A gunman opened fire in two Buckhead daytrading officers in 1999 killing nine people. A gunman opened fire in two Buckhead daytrading officers in 1999 killing nine people.
Brian Nichols, shown here in court, went on a rampage through the Fulton County Courthouse in 2005 killing 4 people. Brian Nichols, shown here in court, went on a rampage through the Fulton County Courthouse in 2005 killing 4 people.
A gunman entered the McNair Discovery Learning Academy earlier this year, thankfully all escaped without injury. A gunman entered the McNair Discovery Learning Academy earlier this year, thankfully all escaped without injury.
ATLANTA -

When a gunman walked into the Washington Navy Yard and opened fire, it sent people running from their officers. The tragedy left 13 people dead and also brought back horrifying memories of violence in metro Atlanta.

In 1999, daytrader Mark Barton walked into the two Buckhead daytrading offices and killed nine people. Just six years later, Brian Nichols wreaked havoc at the Fulton County Courthouse, ultimately killing four people. This past year, a gunman walked into a DeKalb County Elementary School putting the school on lockdown.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, thousands of people every year experience violence while at work. Security consultant Russell Law says violence in the work place is a reality for which workers must plan.

He says employers should contact first responders before a situation occurs and have an action plan for the worst. He says fostering that relationship could save lives.

Law says that discussing different scenarios and escape routes. If an office uses codes to signal an emergency, it should be kept simple. Everyone should have the same information. And while it seems violence in the workplace may seem unlikely, it is a necessary conversation to have.

He adds if you are ever faced with a dangerous situation while at work, the first step is to get out and if that isn't possible, he says hide in a safe place until the situation is clear.

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