Date of Original Version
Violence in the workplace affects every sector and industry in the United States, and it can take on many forms, from verbal threats to front page workplace shooting events – and everything in between. In fact, the issue is so prevalent that death by homicide is the fourth leading cause of workplace deaths.
The impact of workplace violence on employers goes beyond the immediate concern for the safety and welfare of employees. Aside from the expected direct financial costs of increased security, insurance, and legal fees, there are indirect costs that impact the bottom line. Workplaces with employees who experience or witness workplace violence tend to have new obstacles to productivity, including lower morale, absenteeism, labor-management conflict, and increased turnover.
This paper will show that violence can be predicted to a point, and prevention is then a matter of understanding those characteristics that lead to violence and addressing them before the cycle reaches a peak that ends in bloodshed. There is no single method of prevention that is reliably successful, and there is no single circumstance in which prevention methods should be used. Instead, a program of violence prevention would include activities that permeate all levels of the organization, instilling something akin to an organizational culture that is focused on prevention of aggression and violence.