What is Workplace 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 the 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. Other disgruntled or grudge-bearing individuals may also pose a possible threat. This group might include vendors, shareholders, clients, and former employees.

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Workplace Violence Employee Risk Factors

Signs to look for include:

  • Increased absenteeism
  • Decreased attention to hygiene
  • Use of illegal drugs and / or alcohol
  • Increasingly depressed
  • Episodes of domestic violence
  • Paranoid behavior
  • Interest in weapons
  • Bullying in the workplace
  • Perpetual negative demeanor

A combination of several of these risk factors would signal cause for careful scrutiny of an employee’s potential for acting out. For more information regarding this topic, you may contact Off Duty Officers at 888-408-5900.

Companies with sophisticated workplace violence prevention programs in place recognize that certain actions and events call for use of specialists in violence prevention. These events include:

  • Terminations
  • Downsizing
  • Shareholder meetings
  • Press conferences
  • Company gatherings
  • Disciplinary actions

What are solutions to workplace violence?

Off Duty Officers, Inc™. offers a force of security personnel specifically trained and equipped to deal with violence in the workplace. Our security team – comprised of off duty police officers, retired police officers, as well as military personnel and trained security guards – can provide the services required for businesses seeking workplace violence prevention.

Off Duty Officers, Inc™. is proud of its record in preventing workplace violence, and indeed, in saving lives of potential victims of such violence. Our ten-year history reflects a business presence that offers safety in the workplace. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, midsize companies, and small businesses.