Workplace Violence FAQ’s
Should I be concerned about Workplace Violence?
Homicide is the second leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the United States. Nearly 1,000 workers are murdered and 1.5 million are assaulted in the workplace each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 2 million assaults and threats of violence against Americans at work occur annually. The most common type of workplace crime was assault with an average of 1.5 million a year.
Who is at risk for incidents of Workplace Violence?
Potential for violence can exist in any workplace. Employees in the service industry and workers who handle large sums of money are more often at risk for violence. Health care workers who come in direct patient contact are at substantial risk of violence.
Other workers who may be exposed to violence are: bus drivers, emergency attendants, police officers, institutional attendants, workers in women’s shelters, teachers, insurance compensation clerks, arena workers, letter carriers, security guards and any other worker who may work alone or whose work takes them onto private (residential) property.
What are the principle causes of Workplace Violence?
- Understaffing, where workers are forced to work alone or with inadequate support from co-workers.
- Failure to train workers to recognize and defuse potentially violent situations.
- Failure to assess and determine which clients may exhibit violent or aggressive behavior.
- Failure to emphasize safety measures in the workplace, including designing the workplace to minimize potentially violent situations.
- Failure to create and enact emergency procedures to address violent situations.
- Failure to highlight violent hazards and develop control measures, anti-violence workplace policies and training programs.
- Lack of support from employers.
- The most prevalent however, is the continuation of the attitude that violence will never happen in their place of employment.