Workplace Violence Prevention

Workers Yelling

Workplace violence can be any act of violence against persons or property, threats, intimidation, harassment, or other inappropriate, disruptive behavior that causes fear for personal safety at the work site. Workplace violence can range from verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading causes of job-related deaths.

Causes of Workplace Violence

A number of different actions in the work environment can trigger or cause workplace violence (i.e., anger over disciplinary actions or the loss of a job, customer dissatisfaction, etc.). Workplace violence can also be the result of non-work-related situations such as domestic violence, "road rage," or hate incidents or crime (e.g., violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability). Workplace violence can be inflicted by an abusive employee, a manager, supervisor, co-worker, customer, family member, or even a stranger.

At-Risk Employees

While any worker might be subject to an act of workplace violence, some workers are at an increased risk. Among these workers are individuals who frequently handle cash; workers who deliver or pick up people (e.g., taxicab drivers) or deliver or pick up goods (e.g., pizza delivery drivers); workers with late-night working hours; and workers who work alone or in small groups. Workers at an increased risk of injury due to workplace violence include:

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