Thursday, 12 July 2012

Workplace Violence

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Reginald Spence

HRM 00

Module 5/Assignment 5-4 Health and Safety Issue Research

Prof Vanessa Gregory

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Violence in the workplace is a serious safety and health issue. 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 forms of job-related deaths in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), there were 6 workplace homicides in 001 in the United States, out of a total of 8,786 fatal work injuries. A total of ,886 work-related fatalities resulted from the events of September 11th alone. Excluding these fatalities, the overall workplace fatality count was 5,00 for 001. Some million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year. Workplace violence can strike anywhere, and no one is immune. Some workers, however, are at more risk than others. For instance workers who exchange money with the public; deliver passengers, goods, or services; those who work alone or in small groups during late night or early morning hours in high-crime areas; or those in community settings and homes where they have extensive contact with the public. This group includes health-care and social service workers such as visiting nurses, psychiatric evaluators, and probation officers; community workers such as gas and water utility employees, phone and cable TV installers, and letter carriers; retail workers; and taxi drivers.

The figures are grim. Each workday, approximately 16,400 threats are made on the job, 7 workers are attacked, 4,800 are harassed, and more than 1,000 workplace homicides are committed annually according to the Workplace Violence Research Institute. Beyond the high human cost, workplace violence imposes an immense financial burden on U.S. businesses - an estimated $6 billion annually, including costs for medical bills, legal liabilities, lost revenues due to business interruption, and property damage, among others.

In addition, workplace violence litigation has dramatically increased. Recent awards include $5. million paid to a supervisor shot and permanently disabled by a disgruntled fired employee; $5.4 million against a temporary employment agency that failed to adequately screen an employee provided to a client after that employee fatally stabbed a worker at the client-company; $4.5 million against the US Postal Service stemming from a shooting. In legal action following an incident of workplace violence, issues often involve

• Negligent hiring failing to properly screen employees, resulting in the hiring of someone the courts could say had a history of violent and criminal acts.

• Negligent retention keeping an employee after the employer became aware of the employee’s unsuitability and then failed to act on that knowledge.

• Negligent supervision failing to provide the necessary monitoring to ensure that employees perform their duties properly.

• Inadequate security security measures provided to safeguard employees, customers and members of the public not consistent with the potential threat.

Although these are the most common elements of civil suits filed on behalf of those injured by an incident of workplace violence, many other elements can be drawn into the case. With the average out-of-court settlement of $500,000 and an average $ million jury award, it makes sound business sense to reduce the potential for workplace violence and thus avoid exposure to litigation.

Work Cited


Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries


Workplace Violence Research Institute



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