Workplace Violence Can Happen Here – Understanding It’s Nature And Scope

9/11 was a huge wake-up call for Americans to the danger of organized terrorism.

But most of us have yet to wake up to what may be an even greater danger, usf95zone certainly a more chronic one, that of unorganized terrorism — in our streets, homes and (especially) workplaces.

Workplace Violence Is On The Upswing!

This was the headline of a July 2005 HR Magazine article, which asserted: “Workplace violence…increased over the past two years despite federal statistics to the contrary.” Why the discrepancy? Because they are looking at different phenomena.

Federal statistics focus on physical attacks, which have declined somewhat during the past several years, especially homicides.

The Risk Control Strategies survey used by HR Magazine article focuses on other forms of violence:


  • Verbal and electronic threats,
  • Sexual harassment, and
  • Malicious downloading of viruses.


As you will see, these definitely have been on the increase. techmagazinenews

Two Myths

During the years the authors have been consulting on this issue, we’ve observed two prevailing myths regarding workplace violence.


Myth #1: It can’t happen here.


We call this myth: The Ostrich Syndrome. If the wave of violence over the past several years has demonstrated anything, it is that violence can strike at any time, in any community, in any workplace. renownednews

The era of workplace violence began in 1986, when postal worker Patrick Sherrill murdered 14 coworkers in Edmund, Oklahoma. At the time, the third worst mass murder in U.S. history. But it’s not just post offices.

More recently we’ve seen that violence can assault a high school in Littleton, Colorado, two day-trading firms in Atlanta, Xerox in Honolulu, a small software firm outside of Boston, Lockheed Martin in Mississippi, and a university in rural Virginia (the worst civilian gun massacre in U.S. history).

But are these just isolated incidents? Let’s take a look:


  • The Centers for Disease Control have declared workplace violence to be at epidemic levels.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice proclaimed the workplace to be the most dangerous place to be in America.
  • In fact, 1 in 4 workers are attacked, threatened or harassed every year.


And the toll this violence is taking? Costs related to workplace violence have risen a staggering 2881% — from $4.2 billion in 1992 … to $121 billion in 2002. xnxx

All right, that’s the bad news. The good news is revealed when we expose:


Myth #2: It can’t be prevented.


Balderdash! In fact, 99% of incidents have clear warning signs … if you know what to look for.

The extensive news reports of the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007 did a pretty good job identifying Seung-Hui Cho’s warning signs. But let’s look now at another example.

Within just hours of the Lockheed-Martin murders in Mississippi in 2003, the Associated Press reporter learned that:


  • The gunman had had run-ins with management and several fellow employees.
  • He was mad at the world. This man had an issue with everybody.
  • He was known as a racist hothead who talked about killing people.


You don’t have to be a forensic psychologist to detect warning signs like that.

A Quiz


  1. True or False — Domestic violence has little impact on workplace violence.
  2. True or False — Homicide is the leading cause of on-the-job death for women.
  3. Each year the number of victims of workplace violence is about: 50,000 … 100,000 … 500,000 … or 1 million
  4. In the workplace, simple assaults outnumber homicides by a factor of: 10 to 1 … 50 to 1 … 100 to 1 … or 600 to 1
  5. The person most likely to attack someone in the workplace would be a: customer … stranger … co-worker … boss … or former employee techimpacter

The Nature and Scope of Workplace Violence


We use the format of the Quiz to present the true nature and scope. Here are the correct answers:


  1. False. In fact, domestic violence spillover is the fastest growing category of physical workplace violence.
  2. True. Homicide is leading cause of on-the-job death for women. And it’s the second leading cause for men.
  3. 1 million victims of workplace violence annually. And we’re just talking about physical violence. Some estimates are as high as 2 million. The problem with getting a more accurate number is that most non-lethal workplace violence is never reported to the police. But, of course, not all of this violence is homicides…
  4. In the workplace, simple assaults outnumber homicides by a factor of: 600 to 1

    The Iceberg of Workplace Violence

    Homicide The point here is that there are less than 1,000 workplace homicides each year. And homicides have been declining during the past few years. However, these homicides, which understandably receive all the media coverage, are only the tip of the iceberg of total workplace violence, which also includes rapes, robberies and assaults (both with and without a weapon). And notice that the incidence of verbal violence is at least 6 times that of physical violence. Also, as stated previously, the newest form of workplace violence is electronic: emailed threats, computer tampering and malicious downloading of viruses — very much on the increase.

  5. If you thought the person most likely to attack someone in the workplace would be a former employee or coworker, that’s understandable, based on press coverage. However, the correct answer is customer – at about 44%. For example, perpetrator Mark Barton was a customer, not an employee, of those Atlanta day-training firms. And, as a student, Seung-Hui Cho was a customer of Virginia Tech. You would get partial credit if you answered: stranger, which is the most likely perpetrator of workplace homicides … and, at 24%, second only to customers for total workplace violence. Former employees cause only 3% of workplace attacks. Current employees, i.e., co-workers, are a more significant threat at 20%. Bosses are responsible for 7% of all physical workplace violence. Bear in mind, however, that these statistics are based on reported incidents. As we mentioned, most employee fistfights and shovings go


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