Workplace Violence – The Second leading cause of work-site deaths in the United States

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), each year nearly 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence. Acts of violence and other injuries is currently the second-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. Connie Phillips Insurance would like to provide you more information about workplace violence and how businesses can stay protected and develop workplace violence prevention plans.

What is workplace violence?

As stated by OSHA, workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. However, it manifests itself, workplace violence is a growing concern for employers and employees nationwide. Workplace violence is not limited to shootings and can take many forms, including: Extortion, Criminal or gang violence, Stalking or assault, Terrorism, etc…

What causes workplace violence to occur?

Lack of Pre-employment Screening: Companies that do not conduct thorough background screenings on potential employees run the risk of hiring someone who could be prone to violence or has a violent past.

Low morale and job satisfaction: Once a workplace violence incident occurs, employees may feel more disconnected from their jobs and the organization. This low morale and little job satisfaction will lead to higher turnover rates.

Stress: Overworking employees can create a hostile work environment, and if the employee is also battling personal issues, the combination can have disastrous, if not deadly, results.

Psychological trauma: Employees exposed to workplace violence can suffer from increased levels of anxiety, depression, emotional exhaustion, and/or low self-esteem.


Developing a prevention plan

The following are some of the things any prevention program should include:

  • Proper background checks.
  • A crisis management and recovery plan.
  • Planning how the business will maintain functionality after an incident.
  • Make employee terminations safer

Other things to consider:  Is there exposure to unstable people? Is your staff working in a high-crime area? Or even do any employees work alone or in small numbers?

In conclusion by understanding what workplace violence is and how it occurs,  businesses can take the proper measures to avoid a violent event.  If you are a business owner, make sure you have the proper insurance coverage in the event a catastrophe could occur.