Violence in the Workplace
Written by Greg on November 14, 2012
Workplace violence is an issue that can no longer be dismissed as ‘something that happens to someone else’ in a place other than where we are employed. As incidences of workplace violence have become more and more a part of the American landscape (from coast to coast) so too has prevention and response to it become a topic of national conversation.
Let us consider some facts and figures compiled by the F.B.I. regarding this issue.
*Although the public’s attention is usually on deadly acts of violence in workplaces – prevalence rates show that nonfatal workplace violence is a more common phenomenon than previously believed. The F.B. I. estimates there were 1.7 million incidents of workplace violence ANNUALLY between 1993 and 1999 – including assault and battery and rape.
*518 homicides occurred in the workplace in the United States in the year 2008 alone. Most recently, data revealed that 16 percent of workplace fatalities resulted from assaultive and violent acts. However most workplace homicides take place during robberies or related crimes.
OSHA has prepared an informational brochure on workplace safety in which the following information can be found:
“In most workplaces where risk factors can be identified, the risk of assault can be prevented or minimized if employers take appropriate precautions. One of the best protections employers can offer their workers is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence. This policy should cover all workers, patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel.
By assessing their worksites, employers can identify methods for reducing the likelihood of incidents occurring. OSHA believes that a well written and implemented Workplace Violence Prevention Program can reduce the incidence of workplace violence in both the private sector and Federal workplaces.
Finally, OSHA states “it is critical to ensure that all workers know the policy and understand that all claims of workplace violence will be investigated and remedied promptly. In addition, OSHA encourages employers to develop additional methods as necessary to protect employees in high risk industries”.
Speak to your employer if you have questions or concerns about your safety.
Greg Baumgartner is a Houston accident attorney and the founder of the Baumgartner Law Firm, a Texas injury law firm dedicated to helping the seriously injured seek civil justice.