Class to prevent workplace violence offered

click to enlarge Class to prevent workplace violence offered
Garett Fisbeck
Special Agent Randy Yount poses for a photo at Great Plains National Bank in Yukon, Wednesday, June 10, 2015.

Each year, almost 2 million people claim they are victims of workplace violence, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

For Randy Yount, that number is too high.

The former law officer took on a new passion after he retired.

He now teaches employees and employers how to survive and prevent on-the-job violence with his Active Shooter: Homicide in the Workplace class, offered through Oklahoma City Com-munity College’s (OCCC) Professional Development Institute (PDI).

While many speculate about why such incidents have increased over the past decade, Yount, who also studied both OSHA law and environmental health and safety, professionally believes that it is due to a desensitization to violence thanks to a violent pop culture that diminishes the value of life.

“It seems like people don’t have a way to solve their problems when they get to the end of their rope,” Yount said. “They feel like it’s over and the only way to fix it is to take their life, and by golly, they’re going to take as many people out with them as they can. Unfortunately, it’s come to that.”

The workshop is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 24 at PDI’s Crossroads Facility, 7124 Interstate 35 Service Road. Registration is $395, and participants who successfully complete the course will be recognized with a certificate of completion.

Meant to create awareness, the course utilizes Yount’s years of experience in real-world situations and often-graphic depictions of workplace violence.

Key topics of discussion include situational awareness, knowing your peers, having a survival mindset, having an individual plan of action and the role of law enforcement.

Yount teaches employers and employees how to recognize warning signs of violent behavior down to its minutiae, like learning how to tell if someone is carrying or hiding a weapon; Yount emphasizes the idea that violent outbursts often aren’t spontaneous.

“A guy just doesn’t wake up one morning and decide that he’s going to go to work and kill a bunch of people,” Yount said. “It happens over a period of time, and because we’re close to people that we work with, even if we know there is a problem and things are happening in their life, we don’t always see it coming.”

Yount said that in addition to saving lives, this course helps employers avoid things like OSHA infractions, civil lawsuits and even criminal charges by keeping them updated on their safety standards, therefore helping reduce liabilities by making sure employees know about these programs.

“You can either do something about it or you can wait until there’s a major problem and somebody dies,” Yount said. “This program could help get somebody the help they need that could save their life or the lives of other people.”

Print headline: Gun control, A former cop teaches businesses how to fight back against workplace violence.

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