After police revealed details from a shooting at the DMAX Plant at 3100 Dryden Road in Moraine Thursday that included the incident was part of a “domestic-related feud,” experts said employers and those experiencing domestic violence should know how to protect themselves.
According to police, two men — the shooter and Jeffery James Allen III, who was killed in the incident — were involved in an altercation over a woman. A third unidentified man was also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The shooter has also not yet been identified because he has not yet been formally charged with a crime.
Mass public shootings most frequently happen at places of work and commerce, according to the Violence Project, a non-profit research center. In a study of 194 mass shootings from 1966 to present, 25 mass shootings happened at a factory or a warehouse.
The YWCA of Dayton said managers should be willing to work with employees experiencing violence at home. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it will investigate the workplace shooting and said all employers are required to show they can keep their employees safe in a violent situation.
“Rarely does domestic violence start out as physical violence,” said Mady DeVivo, manager of the rape crisis center at the YWCA of Dayton, which works with people in domestic violence situations. “It starts with these tactics of power and control as a way to demonstrate and exert that power and control before things escalate to violence.”
DeVivo said people who are concerned about a domestic partner stalking them, showing up at their workplace or otherwise controlling their lives should reach out. The YWCA can help women make a safety plan.
“Having someone who walks alongside you during that process is extremely helpful,” DeVivo said.
DeVivo also encouraged bosses and managers for women in these situations to work with them. Giving them time off, allowing them to work from home and being flexible will help these women stay safe. The YWCA can give trainings to managers on dealing with domestic violence and help create plans to keep employees safe, she said.
Dawn Anderson-Thurmond, director of domestic violence at YWCA Hamilton, said third parties can be involved in a domestic partnership dispute.
“Even though domestic violence can sometimes occur between two individuals, domestic violence impacts whole households and oftentimes innocent bystanders and/or people who aren’t directly involved in that relationship can be impacted,” she said.
Employers also need to make sure they have plans to address and mitigate workplace violence when it does occur. The plan could include shelter-in-place guidelines or de-escalation techniques, OSHA said.
“It’s not just gun violence, it’s any kind of violence,” said Ken Montgomery, area director for OSHA. “They should have a program that addresses that workplace violence, and it’s a program that they create to show that it’s efficient and would work in one of those crises.”
Mark Stusek, president of G2G Solutions LLC, which is a safety consulting company based in Clearcreek Twp., said his firm usually recommends companies go through an independent security assessment, bring people from across the company from both management and labor together to review the current safety features in the company and create a system where people can report their concerns to several different people depending on what they’re comfortable with.
The median age of the people who perpetrated shootings at factories was 42, according to a study from the Violence Project. The perpetrator was a current or former worker, patron or otherwise related to the company in some way 96% of the time.
When it comes to workplace violence in general, 392 U.S. workers were workplace homicide victims in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of those victims who died from homicide, 81% were men, 44% were aged 25 to 44, 28% were Black and 18% were Hispanic. Approximately 30% of workplace homicide victims were performing retail-related tasks such as tending a retail establishment or waiting on customers.
If you are in a domestic violence situation, seek help. Call the YWCA Dayton at 937-222-SAFE (7233) or chat encrypted on the YWCA Dayton’s website. In Butler County, call 1-800-618-6523.