Work Place Violence


What is work place violence?

OSHA (The Occupational, Safety, and Health Administration) defines workplace violence as violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and ranges from threats, verbal abuse, and bullying to physical assaults and homicide – the latter being one of the leading causes of job-related deaths.

Why should your organization have a violence prevention program?

The following statistics are compiled from reported incidents. Note: these are not simply incidents of intimidation or situations that cause workers to fear for their safety – they are actual cases of reported violence. Like you, we are aware that many individuals in the workplace have experienced workplace bullies who intimidate and threaten. Not surprisingly such intimidation, bullying, and threats sometimes lead to violent incidents.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Institute on Domestic Violence:

  • Homicide is the leading cause of death to women in the workplace.

  • Partners and boyfriends commit 13,000 acts of violence against women in the workplace every year.

  • In 2002, 609 fatalities resulted from homicides in the workplace.

  • In 2001, 17,215 nonfatal injuries resulted from assaults and violent acts by individuals in the workplace.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), there were 639 workplace homicides in 2001 in the United States, out of 8,786 fatal work injuries.

  • During the decade of the 1990s, there were approximately 1.6 million incidents of workplace violence each year.

What are indicators of potential workplace violence?

Incidents of workplace violence are often culminating events that have been brewing over a period – and eventually festering anger explodes. The violent act does not always reflect the action of an employee. An employee’s spouse or significant other, intent upon inflicting damage, may perpetrate the violence. Ot