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

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

But most people have nevertheless to come to life to what could be a good bigger danger, definitely a a lot of chronic one, that of unorganized terrorism — in our streets, homes and (particularly) 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 2 years despite federal statistics to the contrary.” Why the discrepancy? Because they are looking at completely different phenomena.

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

The Risk Management Methods survey employed by HR Magazine article focuses on alternative styles of violence:

?   Verbal and electronic threats,

?   Sexual harassment, and

?   Malicious downloading of viruses.

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

2 Myths

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

Myth 1: It cannot happen here.

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

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

Additional recently we have seen that violence can assault a high school in Littleton, Colorado, two day-trading companies in Atlanta, Xerox in Honolulu, a little 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 peek:

?   The Centers for Disease Management 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.

?   Of course, 1 in four staff are attacked, threatened or harassed every year.

And the toll this violence is taking? Prices related to workplace violence have risen a staggering 2881% — from $ 4.a pair of billion in 1992 … to $ 121 billion in 2002.

All right, that is the dangerous news. The good news is revealed after we expose:

Myth a pair of: It cannot be prevented.

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

The intensive news reports of the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007 did a reasonably sensible 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 many fellow employees.

?   He was mad at the world. This man had an issue with everybody.

?   He was known as a racist hothead who talked concerning killing people.

You don’t should 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 reason for on-the-job death for women.

3. Each year the quantity of victims of workplace violence is about: fifty,000 … one hundred,000 … 500,000 … or 1 million

4. In the workplace, straightforward assaults outnumber homicides by a issue of: 10 to 1 … fifty to 1 … a hundred to one … or 600 to one

5. The person presumably to attack someone in the workplace would be a: client … stranger … co-worker … boss … or former employee

The Nature and Scope of Workplace Violence

We have a tendency to use the format of the Quiz to present the true nature and scope. Here are the right answers:

1. False. Of course, domestic violence spillover is that the fastest growing class of physical workplace violence.

2. True. Homicide is leading reason for on-the-job death for women. And it is the second leading cause for men.

3. one million victims of workplace violence annually. And we tend to’re just talking concerning physical violence. Some estimates are as high as 2 million. The problem with obtaining a additional correct range is that most non-lethal workplace violence is never reported to the police. However, in fact, not all of this violence is homicides…

4. In the workplace, easy assaults outnumber homicides by a factor of: 600 to 1

The Iceberg of Workplace Violence

Homicide The point here is that there are but 1,000 workplace homicides each year. And homicides are declining during the past few years. But, these homicides, that understandably receive all the media coverage, are only the tip of the iceberg of total workplace violence, that also includes rapes, robberies and assaults (each with and without a weapon). And see that the incidence of verbal violence is a minimum of half dozen 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 — terribly much on the increase.

5. If you thought the person most likely to attack somebody in the workplace would be a former employee or coworker, that’s understandable, primarily based on press coverage. But, the proper answer is customer – at regarding forty four%. As an example, perpetrator Mark Barton was a client, not an employee, of these Atlanta day-training firms. And, as a student, Seung-Hui Cho was a client of Virginia Tech. You’d get partial credit if you answered: stranger, which is the foremost likely perpetrator of workplace homicides … and, at twenty four%, second only to customers for total workplace violence. Former staff cause only three% of workplace attacks. Current workers, i.e., co-workers, are a a lot of important threat at twenty%. Bosses are accountable for seven% of all physical workplace violence. Remember, however, that these statistics are based mostly on reported incidents. As we mentioned, most employee fistfights and shovings go unreported.

Yes, violence will happen in any workplace. There are grounds for caution, however not panic — for 2 reasons:

1. That violence in all probability won’t be lethal.

2. You’ll be able to forestall it!

To prevent any kind of violence from scarring your workplace, see our article, “Forestall Workplace Violence.”