According to the United States Department of Labor,
- More than 23,000 injuries from assault at work were reported in 2013
- 70% of these assaults were in Social Services or Healthcare
- In 2012, there were 463 workplace homicides (the most common being shootings)
- 21% of these workplace homicides were committed by co-workers
- Women are more likely to be murdered while on the job compared to men
- About 40% of female homicides in the workplace are committed by relatives
- Nearly half of all work related deaths in the sales (and related) occupation fields were homicides
“Workplace violence is defined as violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside of the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide.” – O.S.H.A.
The immediate impact of the violent incident on a workplace environment cannot be measured quantitatively, but the after effects can be costly. The impact may be felt in a wide range and can include:
- Employee absence
- Productivity barriers
- Damage, theft, or sabotage occurring on the property
- Deviation of normal processes and procedures by management
- An increase of Workers’ Compensation costs/claims
- An increase in personnel costs
It may not be possible to completely avoid workplace violence, but prevention is key.
Create and implement a “violence in the workplace” program to be followed by employees, customers, guests, and anyone entering the business property. Pre-screen all potential employees appropriately. Utilize security measures such as ID badges, security guards, and limit access to the property and facilities to only those individuals that need to be there.
In a world where we are unable to control every aspect of our environment, having a detailed program in place may mean the difference between life and death.
For information on creating and implementing a workplace violence program: