A new report “Violence in the Workplace” by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. (NCCI) shows that while work-related homicides and injuries due to workplace assaults remain well below levels observed in the mid-1990s, homicides committed by “work associates” – a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) category made up of both coworkers and customers – have increased. To view the complete report, visit: https://www.ncci.com/documents/Workplace_Research.pdf. In the report, NCCI states that the “reality of workplace violence is markedly different from popular opinion” and that workplace homicides – which account for 11 percent of workplace fatalities in private industry – “are not crimes of passion committed by disgruntled coworkers and spouses, but rather result from robberies.” In addition, the majority of workplace assaults are committed by healthcare patients. Key Findings of the report “Violence in the Workplace” include the following:
- Work-related homicides and injuries due to workplace assaults remain well below levels observed in the mid-1990s, consistent with the patterns of declines in rates of homicide and aggravated assaults reported for the country. The rate of workplace homicides fell 59 percent from 1993 to 2009, while the overall rate of homicides fell 47 percent during the same period, according to NCCI.
- Homicides account for 11 percent of workplace fatalities. Homicides due to robberies and similar criminal acts fell markedly over the late 1990s, but still make up 69 percent of all homicides.
- Homicides committed by “work associates” – a BLS category made up of both coworkers and customers – have increased to about 21 percent, mostly reflecting an increase to 9 percent in violent acts by customers while the share of workplace homicides due to coworkers has remained steady at about 12 percent. The actual number of such homicides has been in the 50 to 60 range in recent years.
- Healthcare workers experience remarkably high rates of injuries due to assaults by patients, especially in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. In fact, 61 percent of all workplace assaults are committed by healthcare patients.