Workplace violence risks and costs

By Sean Banks
Workplace violence risks and costs can be mitigated through intentional and educated efforts.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) shows an average of 590 homicides a year from 2000 through 2009, with homicides remaining one of the four most frequent work-related fatal injuries. Nationally, workplace homicides remained the number one cause of workplace death for women in 2009. In Oregon there was an average of 4 homicides per year from 2005-2009. Between 2004 and 2008, OR OSHA reports, assaults and other violent acts injured 1,627 Oregon workers where they work. That’s about 325 incidents each year in which workers are unable to do their jobs when they become victims of workplace violence.

There are several steps an employer should consider in order to reduce the risk and consequence of violence in the workplace. Some of those steps include the following:

  • Assessments for the type of risks;
  • Appropriate prevention and mitigation practices;
  • Methods to foster a positive work environment;
  • Know the warning signs in an employee (behaviors and suggested responses); and
  • Develop a workplace violence program including a policy and response team.
  • Have you thoughtfully considered the possibility of workplace violence in your business? How many of the steps above have you taken action to implement in your workplace?

If you have questions or desire feedback on this topic or other risk management subjects please contact one our team professionals at Golsan Scruggs.