connecticut lottery shootings

For those living in Connecticut, the Connecticut Lottery shootings of over a decade ago are still a vivid reminder of how quickly a tragedy can visit a workplace. 

On the 10th anniversary of that horrible day, I wrote a piece about how that incident really awakened Connecticut employers to the need to think about workplace violence issues.

Over the last several years, I’ve discussed steps that an employer can consider to reduce the threat of workplace violence in the wake of other workplace incidents

But I noted then that any suggestion that these types of incidents could be avoided is really Monday-morning quarterbacking.

This morning brought word of another random workplace shooting visited on yet another Connecticut employer.

Nine dead. Others injured.

Families shattered. Dreams destroyed.

An unspeakable tragedy and one for which I feel sick for the families affected.  

There may be some employers that  want use this incident to revisit their own policies or ask what they could do to reduce the risk of workplace violence.  Metal detectors at the doors? Armed guards? Allowing employees to bring guns into work? More training? "Zero-tolerance" on workplace violence policies? Reviewing social media websites?

OSHA has a whole section of their website devoted to workplace violence issues.

Yet ultimately, all I keep asking is whether there really anything to "learn" from this incident other than being reminded of the fact that bad things happen to good people.

Despite all the guidance and advice that can be given, the awful truth is that there really is no way to prevent tragedies like this from ever occurring.  An employer can do everything "right" and yet still a rampage ensues by someone committed to carrying out a terrible crime.

That’s not to say that employers should ignore the issue; they shouldn’t. But we also should be careful not to draw conclusions from an incident like this too.

Indeed, as we look for answers from this tragedy, perhaps its best to acknowledge that we can never truly understand what brings people to commit evil and that despite whatever efforts we might make, something like this will sadly happen again.