Is hyper-vigilence in workplace a new norm?

12:26 AM, Nov 18, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Even after construction work which resembled gun shots sparked the evacuation of a building that houses the Target headquarters on Friday, nobody is looking to blame the worker who alerted police.

"The last thing we would want is someone not to call police in the event they heard a sound," said Acting Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau.

That said, it may be a reflection on where we are in society if the first thing we think of when hearing what turned out to be maintenance work as gun fire.

"Things people perceive is really out of their control is very scary," said University of Minnesota psychology professor Pat Frazier.
Frazier believes Friday is a good example of people on edge because of what they've seen in the media.

"Watching the video coverage of what happened for example at Accent Signage or any of these other really tragic shootings could be distressing and make people hyper-vigilant," said Frazier.

Despite the eye-catching headlines, she points out the number of workplace homicides have actually gone down over the years.

"Unfortunately it's part of our reality," said security expert Michael Rozin.

Rozin believes we still need to prepare for days that don't turn out like Friday's ending.

That's why his company, Rozin Security Consulting, helps other companies try to prevent work place violence. He is originally from Israel and served in the country's defense forces, as well as in airport security.

His expertise is stopping violence before it starts by analyzing people's behavior.

"We are dealing with this reality and since we are, we have to take proactive and protective measures to secure our communities," said Rozin.

Frazier doesn't disagree, but wants us all to remember we're more likely to die while behind the wheel than behind our desk.

"I think it's important to keep it in perspective," she said. "You're lot more in danger driving home from work than at work."

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