Workplace violence is a growing problem in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 2 million workers are injured every year, and more than 800 die as a result of workplace violence. This has a devastating effect on the productivity of a business and on employees’ quality of life.
Although dramatic multiple homicide incidents are highly publicized, they represent a very small number of workplace violence incidents. The majority of incidents that employers and employees deal with on a daily basis are cases of assaults, domestic violence, stalking, threats, harassment (to include sexual harassment), and physical and/or emotional abuse that make no headlines.
Estimates of the costs, from lost work time and wages, reduced productivity, medical costs, workers’ compensation payments, and legal and security expenses are even less exact but clearly run into billions of dollars. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has estimated the annual cost of workplace violence on employers at $121 billion.