Workplace violence: Know the numbers, risk factors and possible warning signs

(CNN) — In Alabama, a recently fired man walks into a UPS facility he’d worked at, shoots dead two people, then takes his own life.

In Oklahoma, another man — also just after being laid off — allegedly heads to his former food processing plant, beheads the first person he sees, then attacks another.

In Illinois, police say, a man walks into his air traffic control center in the early morning, starts a destructive fire, then slices his own throat.

In all three instances, all from this week, seemingly safe workplaces transformed instantly into danger zones.

Why? How might these or other cases of workplace violence have been prevented? And are these events signs of a larger, growing possibility of death in the average Americans place of employment — where many spend more waking hours, on a given week, than inside their own homes?

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