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Workplace Violence and the Law

Under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that "is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees." The courts have interpreted OSHA's general duty clause to mean that an employer has a legal obligation to provide a workplace free of conditions or activities that either the employer or industry recognizes as hazardous and that cause, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to employees when there is a feasible method to abate the hazard.

Violations of the OSHA regulations can result in employers receiving fines and will likely involve a civil lawsuit. Recent court rulings relative to liability lawsuits have shown that active shooter scenarios have become more prevalent and are now considered a “recognizable hazard” to employees. This ruling by the court puts the burden on employers to provide training to their employees on how to recognize indicators of potential active shooters as well as how to respond when an active shooter situation occurs. If the training is not provided, it opens the door for a civil liability against the business. ( See Sarbanes-Oxley and OSHA ruling,, )

Active Shooter defined, is an individual actively engaged in a killing or attempting to kill people in a confined space or other populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. U.S. Dep. Of Homeland Security.

Here is another resource which helps confirm this information for you. It's just a couple of minutes long.

If you would like to discuss more on this topic or any other Safety Topic, just call Glenn Salter at

909-481-7223 or email to WILL HELP!

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