Another state will soon allow workers to keep guns in their vehicles’ locked trunks and glove compartments in companies’ parking lots.
Indiana’s new law will take effect July 1, 2010.
In an opinion piece in the Northwest Indiana Times, lawyer James Jorgensen says the new law could adversely affect employers and the workplace.
He points to Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2007, there were 16,840 nonfatal assaults and violent acts in the workplace. The same year, 11% of workplace fatalities were homicides. Homicide has been one of the top four causes of workplace deaths since 1992.
Jorgensen points out, correctly, that OSHA considers workplace violence as an occupational hazard.
And even though OSHA doesn’t have a workplace violence standard, the agency can invoke the General Duty Clause to fine employers for workplace violence that causes injury or death.
Jorgensen’s advice: Companies need to adopt workplace violence policies with clear statements of consequences for violations.
What do you think about workers keeping guns in their locked vehicles in your company’s parking lot? Does your company address that in its workplace violence policy? Let us know what you think in the Comments Box below.