What is Workplace Violence?
It is violence or the threat of violence against employees, students, visitors, and guests. It can happen in almost any setting but always involves a connection to the organization or facility. The violence can range from intimidation, bullying, threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide. Homicide is actually one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. However it manifests itself, workplace violence is a growing concern for school administrators, students, parents, employers and employees nationwide.
- The second leading cause of death in the workplace overall (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Almost two million U.S. workers experienced violence at work in 2011 (Bureau of Labor statistics)
- Each workday, an estimated 16,400 threats, 723 workers are attacked and harassed (Bureau of Justice statistics)
- More than 1,000 U.S. workers are victims of homicide at work each year (Bureau of Justice statistics)
Types of Workplace Violence
- Criminals/Strangers - includes violent acts by criminals who have no connection with the workplace, but enter to commit robbery or another crime.
- Customers/Clients - includes violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or any others for whom an organization provides services.
- Employees/Coworkers - includes acts committed by a present or former employee.
- Related Parties/Personal Relations - includes violence committed in the workplace by someone who does not work there, but has a personal relationship with an employee—for example, an abusive spouse or domestic partner.
Financial Costs of Workplace Violence
- Average cost of a single workplace homicide incident: $800,000 (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
- One medium sized California company spent $500,000 recovering from an incident that did not even include physical violence (Alvarez Associates)
- About 500,000 victims of violent crime in the workplace lose an estimated 1.8 million work days each year. (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics)
The average cost to American businesses each year is estimated to be $36 billion dollars. (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics)
Employers who fail to protect their employees may be liable. Jury awards for inadequate security suits average $1.2 million nationwide and settlements average $600,000. (Source: Family Violence Prevention Fund- Seven Reasons Employers Should Address Domestic Violence)
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