Workplace violence in CT underreported

The Connecticut Lottery headquarters in Newington was the scene of one of Connecticut's worst cases of workplace violence, Mar. 6, 1998.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — On March 6, 1998, four people died at the state lottery headquarters when a disgruntled state employee brought a gun to the office.

Twelve months later, former Gov. John Rowland signed executive order 16, ordering each state agency to collect how many times there was an incident of workplace violence. Only 35 schools… state agencies and commissions reported… and there are more than 75 across the state…

“They are the ones responsible for putting in a biannual report for incidents going on at their agency,” said Dr. Martin Anderson with the state’s Administrative Services division.

In the last year, there were more than 200 individual incidents reported.

Incidents ranging from the seemingly juvenile – like the Development Services employee that was putting sand in a co-workers pocket to the borderline criminal like the Energy and Environmental Protection employee that threatened to poison a Killingworth water supply.

Each incident is important, said Anderson. They could save lives. “The money and resources the state puts in.. could save lives.”

“Every state employee has to take workplace violence prevention. Every state agency has a threat assessment team.”

In 2013, the state has made big changes to HOW all of these incidents get reported, switching from the paper version to an online database.  It is meant to streamline the process.

In fact, it has created a problem. A number of agencies haven’t reported anything at all.

“No. technically it’s not supposed to work that way. We want to hear from them on some level”

Anderson says there has been a learning curve getting everyone up to speed with the system… they are contacting each state agency who didn’t report to fix it.


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