Preventing Workplace Violence – Tips & Information

Risk Factors

The following references provide information on risk factors and scope of violence in the workplace and may help increase awareness of workplace violence:

Federal Agency Guidance

  • Workplace Violence, 1993-2009 [624 KB PDF, 18 pages]. US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, (2011, March 29). Presents data from 1993 through 2009 from the National Crime Victimization Survey estimating the extent of workplace violence in the United States.
  • Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure and major private industry sector [460 KB PDF, 23 pages]. US Department of Labor (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), (2010). Includes the category “Assaults and Violent Acts”.
  • Workplace Violence Prevention Strategies and Research Needs. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2006-144, (2006, September). Summarizes discussions that took place during Partnering in Workplace Violence Prevention: Translating Research to Practice, a landmark conference held in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 15-17, 2004.
  • Violence in the Workplace – Preventing It; Managing It. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), (2004, March 1). Shares expertise of representatives from law enforcement, private industry, government, law, labor, professional organizations, victim services, the military, academia, mental health as well as the FBI on this important issue. This monograph resulted from a June 2002 symposium hosted by the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime entitled “Violence in the Workplace.”
  • Violence on the Job. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-100d, (2004). Discusses practical measures for identifying risk factors for violence at work, and taking strategic action to keep employees safe. Based on extensive NIOSH research, supplemented with information from other authoritative sources.
  • Violence Occupational Hazards in Hospitals. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2002-101, (2002, April). Also available as a 105 KB PDF, 15 pages. Increases employee and employer awareness of the risk factors for violence in hospitals and provides strategies for reducing exposure to these factors.
  • Workplace Violence: Issues in Response [6 MB PDF, 80 pages]. US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, (2002). Developed from the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime’s “Violence in the Workplace” symposium June 10-14, 2002 as a guide to businesses, small and large, and government in implementing a proactive workplace violence prevention strategy.
  • Sygnatur, Eric F. and Guy A. Toscano. “Work-related Homicides: The Facts” [76 KB PDF, 6 pages]. US Department of Labor (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Safety, Health and Working Conditions Compensation and Working Conditions Article, (2000, Spring). Provides information on work-related homicides, including information about the perpetrators, demographics of the decedents, and other relevant facts about these events, such as the time of the incident, the location, and the type of establishment in which the homicide occurred. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of these incidents are not crimes of passion committed by disgruntled coworkers and spouses, but rather result from robberies.
  • Stress… at Work. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-101, (1999). Highlights knowledge about the causes of stress at work and outlines steps that can be taken to prevent job stress. Defines job stress as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury. Explores a combination of organizational change and stress management as the most useful approach for preventing stress at work.
  • Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention and Response [874 KB PDF, 15 pages]. US Department of Agriculture, (2001, October). Addresses prevention of workplace violence, employers’ and employees’ responsibilities, identification of potentially violent situations and response to violent incidents.
  • Violence in the Workplace – Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Current Intelligence Bulletin 57, (1996, July). Reviews what is known about fatal and nonfatal violence in the workplace to determine the focus needed for prevention and research efforts. Reports that each week in the United States, an average of 20 workers are murdered and 18,000 are assaulted while at work. These staggering figures should not be an accepted cost of doing business in our society—nor should death or injury be an inevitable result of one’s chosen occupation.
  • Preventing Homicide in the Workplace. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 93-109, (1995, May). Reports workplaces with the highest rates of occupational homicide were taxicab establishments, liquor stores, gas stations, detective/protective services, justice/public order establishments (including courts, police protection establishments, legal counsel and prosecution establishments, correctional institutions, and fire protection establishments), grocery stores, jewelry stores, hotels/motels, and eating/drinking places. Taxicab establishments had the highest rate of occupational homicide–nearly 40 times the national average and more than three times the rate of liquor stores, which had the next highest rate.
  • Occupational Violence. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic. Reports that an average of 1.7 million people were victims of violent crime while working or on duty in the United States each year from 1993 through 1999 according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Includes NIOSH publications as well as other US government occupational violence links including a psychological first aid manual for mental health providers.

State and Local Guidance

  • Maine’s Caregivers, Social Assistance and Disability Rehabilitation Workers Injured by Violence and Aggression in the Workplace in 2011 [439 KB PDF, 18 pages]. Maine Department of Labor, (2012, July). This document is a report which contains statistical information regarding provider injuries from violent/aggressive actions of recipients of care/services.
  • Workplace Violence: A Report to the Nation [331 KB PDF, 16 pages]. University of Iowa (UI) Injury Prevention Research Center, (2001, February). Summarizes the problem of workplace violence and the recommendations identified by participants at the Workplace Violence Intervention Research Workshop in Washington, DC, April, 2000.
  • Cal/OSHA Guidelines for Workplace Security. State of California, (1995, March 30). Characterizes establishments, profiles and motives of the agent or assailant, and identifies preventive measures by type. In California, the majority (60 percent) of workplace homicides involved a person entering a small late-night retail establishment. Nonfatal Type II events involving assaults to service providers, especially to health care providers, may represent the most prevalent category of workplace violence resulting in physical injury.
  • Violence in the Workplace: Accepted Disabling Claims due to Assaults and Violent Acts, Oregon, 2001-2005 [908 KB PDF, 26 pages]. Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, (2006, December). Provides a study of Workers’ Compensation Claims Caused by Violent Acts, 2001 to 2005.
  • Most Workplace Violence on Women Hidden, Says Center Report. University of Albany (UA), Center for Women in Government. Summarizes and comments on a report addressing workplace violence, emphasizing data specific to women. Two-thirds of the nonfatal attacks on women are committed by patients or residents in institutional settings. Husbands, boyfriends and ex-partners commit 15 percent of all workplace homicides against women. Women are more likely to suffer serious injury from workplace violence than men. Women who are victims of violent workplace crimes are twice as likely as men to know their attackers.

Training & Other Resources

Training

  • Workplace Violence. OSHA. Contains links to a variety of training and reference materials, including presentations, publications, and handouts.
  • Developing a Violence Prevention Program. Oregon OSHA Online Course 120. Provides recommendations for quickly assessing the state of an organization’s current policies and practices and on steps to consider in developing a Workplace Violence Prevention Program (WVPP) to reduce the hazards of workplace violence.
  • Training. University of Minnesota (UM), Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. Provides training resources specific to workplace violence, including US Office of Personnel Management guide, the OSHA guidelines, and a prevention guide from the State of Mississippi.

Additional Information

  • Tri-national Conference on Violence as a Workplace Risk. US Department of Labor (DOL), North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), (2001, November 29-30). Raises awareness of the issue of psychological and physical violence in North American workplaces, and provides practical solutions by sharing information, highlighting best practices, and identifying successful methods of prevention.
  • Institutionalized Violence: When Does Care Giving become Submission to Violence? Work-related Risks for Health Care Providers (A) [227 KB PDF, 36 pages]. University of Minnesota (UM), Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Center on Women and Public Policy. Allows for discussion of sexual harassment as an occupational health and safety issue and supports exploration of employer liability for harassment committed by developmentally disabled adults in care. Includes an abstract, case study, epilogue and teaching notes.

Prevention Programs

The following references provide guidance for evaluating and controlling violence in the workplace.

OSHA Guidance

Other Federal Agency Guidance

  • Home Healthcare Workers: How to Prevent Violence on the Job [517 KB PDF, 2 pages]. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012–118, (2012, February).
  • Workplace Violence Prevention Strategies and Research Needs. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2006-144, (2006, September).
  • Violence on the Job. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-100d, (2004). Discusses practical measures for identifying risk factors for violence at work, and taking strategic action to keep employees safe. Based on extensive NIOSH research, supplemented with information from other authoritative sources.
  • Grassroots Worker Protection. Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association (OSHSPA), (1999). Describes how state programs help to ensure safe and healthful workplaces.
  • Stress… at Work. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-101, (1999). Highlights knowledge about the causes of stress at work and outlines steps that can be taken to prevent job stress.
  • Preventing Homicide in the Workplace. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 93-109, (1995, May). Helps employers and employees to identify high-risk occupations and workplaces, informs employers and employees about their risks, encourages employers and employees to evaluate risk factors in their workplaces and implement protective measures, and encourages researchers to gather more detailed information about occupational homicide and to develop and evaluate protective measures.
  • Occupational Violence. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic. Provides basic information on workplace violence including risk factors and prevention strategies.
  • New Directions from the Field: Victims’ Rights and Services for the 21st Century, Business Community. US Department of Justice (DOJ), Chapter 12 of the New Directions report on crime victims, (1998, August). Also available as a 145 KB PDF, 12 pages. Deals with victims rights and services in the business environment, and contains a section on workplace violence and provides practical advice for the business community on assisting the victims of workplace violence.
  • Dealing with Workplace Violence: A Guide for Agency Planners. US Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Also available as a 2 MB PDF, 156 pages. Assists those who are responsible for establishing workplace violence initiatives at their agencies. This handbook is the result of a cooperative effort of many federal agencies sharing their expertise in preventing and dealing with workplace violence.

State and Local Guidance

  • Workplace Violence Prevention. Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry. Provides links to prevention resources including workplace violence videos, links to other organizations and training resources:
    • A Comprehensive Guide for Employers and Employees [100 KB PDF, 29 pages]. Provides guidance to develop and implement a workplace violence prevention program. Includes model policy, sample forms, threat and assault log, five warning signs of escalating behavior, sample workplace weapons policy, sample policy about domestic violence in the workplace and personal conduct to minimize violence.
  • Violence Prevention Brochure: Maintaining a Safe Workplace. University of California – Davis (UC Davis). Presents information designed to highlight stresses and risks in the work environment, to enhance workplace safety, and to reduce and prevent disruption and violence.
  • MINCAVA Electronic Clearinghouse – Workplace Violence. Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA), University of Minnesota (UM). Provides resources identified by the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse specific to workplace violence.

newEnforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Workplace Violence Incidents. OSHA Directive CPL 02-01-052, (2011, September 8).

 

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