In January 1997, a man drove into the parking lot of a major company in Baltimore County, pulled out a gun, and aimed it at his girlfriend who was sitting in her car and killed her. The man shot himself. Several days after that, another man in another part of the county, in attempt to commit suicide, drove his vehicle the wall of a business and injured an employee who was sitting at his desk. (National, 1996)
There is a general perception that violence is growing in our society. Almost everyday we can turn on the news or read the newspaper and we hear stories about horrific workplace murders and assaults. Not only is the workplace violence increasing in those workplaces where violence is expected, such as correction, enforcement, and mental health, but also it has become a danger in almost every occupation that deals with the public. Therefore, few would argue that over the last ten years, occupational violence has become a serious problem facing workers and employers alike. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, murder was the second leading cause of death in the workplace in 1996, accounting for 15% of all workplace deaths. Although the press focuses on the “crazy worker-type violence,” where a worker kills his supervisor or co-worker, violence among co-workers occurs very infrequently compared to other types of workplace violence. Since 1992, violence among co-workers has averaged only about 6% of all work-related homicides. The rest are the result of robberies or other crimes.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, each year nearly one million individuals become victims of violent crime while working or on duty. Eight percent of all rapes, 7% of all robberies, and 16% of all assault...
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...al Safety and Health Alert: Request for Assistance in Prevention Homicide in the Workplace, US Department of Health and Human Services, Sept 1993.
6. Irvine, Robert B, “Workplace Violence, What To Do When Tragedy Strikes“, Public Relations TACTICS, Dec. 1995.
7. Labor Occupational Health Program, Violence on the Job: A Guidebook for Labor and Management, University of California, Berkeley, 1997
8. Mattman, Jurg W, “Preventing Violence in the Workplace “, Online Available: http://www.noworkviolence.com/articles/preventing_violence.htm
9. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, “Violence in the Workplace, Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies”, Current Intelligence Bulletin 57, June 1996.
10. Robinson, Janet, “10 Facts Every Employer Should Know About Workplace Violence”, Online Available: http://www.smartbiz.com/sbs/columns/robin1.htm
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