Tragedy befell a small town in Arizona in 2012 when a handgun accidentally went off in one of the suites at a nonprofit entity. A bullet struck an employee in the head, and paramedics pronounced a 49-year-old man dead at the scene. An incident like this can happen anywhere, even in the small town where you may be living.
The owner of the Derringer handgun was also an employee. He had placed the weapon inside his lunchbox for storage after leaving his truck at an auto repair shop. The gun slipped out of his lunchbox, hit the ground, and fired—right in the direction of the other employee. The nonprofit entity had a policy in place barring guns from the workplace. What went wrong? As sad as this incident may be, unintentional injuries and fatalities involving guns like this one are rare.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 20 cases involving self-inflicted, unintentional shooting injuries in 2011—and zero in 2012. The decrease may be credited to many states posting signs advising visitors about guns being prohibited on the premises. As an employee, you can take your own precautions to make sure that you are safe from guns in the workplace. Here are some practices:
- Does your place of employment have a prominent displayed sign regarding weapons?
- Does your place of employment have a gun policy?
- Are workers being trained regularly on workplace violence, and what to do if someone enters the building with a gun?
We believe that our places of employment are willing to protect us in every way, but many places of employment do not take the proper and necessary steps to protect their employees or provide information that could save their lives. If you or someone you know has been injured in a gun related accident on workplace premises, it may be difficult to determine whether procedures were followed prior to the incident. Enlisting an attorney who can help you with your personal injury case will investigate and act on your behalf so you receive the compensation you deserve.