The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health classifies workplace violence into four categories: criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship. Workplace violence or threats of violence may be internal, an employee targeting another employee, or external, a non-employee targeting an employee. Regardless, the focus of the violence or threat of violence occurs at the workplace or business.
The National Safety Council lists data for workplace violence-related injuries and deaths for 2013 as follows:
Government: 37,110 injuries, 128 deaths
Education and health services: 22,590 injuries, 35 deaths
Professional and Business Services: 4,460 injuries, 65 deaths
Retail: 2,680 injuries, 127 deaths
Leisure and hospitality: 2,380 injuries, 107 deaths
Financial activities: 1,100 injuries, 37 deaths
Transportation and warehousing: 840 injuries, 71 deaths
Construction: 680 injuries, 36 deaths
Manufacturing: 570 injuries, 36 deaths
Often times, after these incidents are reported in the media, people who are familiar with the perpetrator of the violent act mention observing prior unusual behaviors. The research into targeted violence clearly identifies a number of behavioral indicators that are commonly present prior to the violent act.
The safety of everyone at the workplace is paramount. Managers must be prepared to face the possibility of threats of workplace violence, especially when trying to manage a current or former disgruntled employee or when domestic violence/stalking occurs at the workplace. MacKizer Behavioral Analysis Consulting assists businesses in managing threats of workplace violence by conducting behavioral based threat assessments and providing mitigation strategies. Our team also provides businesses with training on identification of behavioral indicators of threats of violence and threat management strategies.