WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

WHAT IS WORKPLACE VIOLENCE?

United States Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) states that “Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors.”

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WORKPLACE VIOLENCE AND EMPLOYERS RESPONSIBILITY

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) more than two million workers become victims of workplace violence each year ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults to homicide. While approximately 700 people a year are murdered on the job, the most common and least reported types of workplace violence are bullying, intimidation and threats.

​OHSA states that “You (the employee) have the right to a safe workplace.  The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was passed to prevent workers from being killed or otherwise harmed at work.  The law requires conditions that are free of know dangers.”

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WHAT ARE "KNOWN DANGERS"?

NBC 5 in Chicago reported “Family of Woman Shot at Loop Old Navy Sues Store” Tranesha Palms was shot and killed while working when Eugene Robertson, an ex-boyfriend who had made threats against Palms was able to gain entrance from a private employee entrance where he shot Palms then killed himself.  Palms’ family said that Old Navy knew of the situation and did nothing to change procedures or protect Palms.

STAGGERING STATISTICS

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 500,000 victims of violent crime in the workplace lose an estimated 1.8 million workdays each year. This presents an astounding $55 million in lost wages for employees, not including days covered by sick and annual leave and a loss of productivity that has direct consequences for an employer’s bottom line.

Lawsuits around workplace violence have been impacting cost substantially. The average out-of-court settlement for this type of litigation approaches $500,000.00 and the average jury award of $3 million. A few awards have reached as high as $5.49 million.​

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Almost 2 million workers in America experience workplace violence each year.

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In 2014, there were 403 workplace homicides.

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500,000 lose 1.8 million workdays a year.

DAMAGING EFFECTS

What most employers don’t understand is the damaging effects workplace violence has on the business.  The tragic loss of a co-worker, friend and family member places a mental wound on all of those involved that could last for years.  Businesses may never recover after a violent attack at its work place.​