“Workplace violence” is defined as an act of aggression or the threat of physical violence against workers on the job. It can occur in, at, or outside the workplace, and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide.
Workplace violence is increasing throughout America. Many cases go unreported due to fear of the perpetrator, minimizing the incident or lack of clear company policy. Inaction will likely lead to further and increased violence and possible liability for the employer.
Murder is the 2nd most frequent cause of death in the workplace and the first among female employees. Both victims and perpetrators are employed with your company. There are thousands and thousands of incidents of on-the-job violence each year, and most victims know their abusers intimately.
All employers are required to prevent injuries and fatalities under OSHA’s General Duty Clause and/or related state regulations. Since workplace violence is a recognized hazard that causes a significant number of injuries and deaths each year, employers are obligated to implement preventative measures and document their efforts.
In mid 2005, 1200 F/T employees were polled across the US. The poll indicated that victims’ ability to work was definitely affected by home violence. Some key causes for their decline in productivity were distraction, fear of discovery, harassment by intimate partner at work (either by phone or in person), fear of intimate partner’s unexpected visits, inability to complete assignments on time and job loss.
Regarding co-workers of victims, 31% of respondents felt “strongly” to “somewhat obliged” to cover for a victim of domestic violence by performing his or her work or offering excuses for his or her absence, 27% reported “extremely frequently” to “somewhat frequently” having to do the victim’s work, and 25% resented the victim because of the effect of their situation on the workplace. Finally, 38% of respondents were “extremely” to “somewhat concerned” for their own safety when they found out a co-worker was a victim of domestic violence.
Home violence IS a workplace issue
Over 2 million Americans are victims of workplace violence each year.
Each week in the United States, an average of 33,000 workers are assaulted on the job and 17 are murdered.
Employers pay close to $40 billion annually in direct and indirect costs associated with these incidents, ranging from medical and mental health care, lost wages and productivity annually.
Victims lose a total of 8 million paid work days per year which is equal to 32,000 full-time jobs.
Jury awards for inadequate security lawsuits average $1.2million nationwide and settlements average $600,000.