According to a report from the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) ‘Employee Perceptions of Federal Workplace Violence,’ approximately 13 percent of Federal employees – about one in eight – observed or experienced workplace violence between 2008 and 2010. The MSPB report, which was conducted in 2010 and received responses from 42,000 federal employees at 30 agencies, is at: http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=759001&version=761840&application=ACROBAT. The MSPB report – part of a study on federal workplace violence – found the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) led all agencies with 23 percent of employees witnessing workplace violence. The report also revealed current or former co-workers governmentwide caused roughly 54 percent of the incidents of workplace violence, defined as “physical attacks, threats of attack, harassment, intimidation, or bullying in the workplace,” in a MSPB press release at: http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=759029&version=761868&application=ACROBAT. According to the ‘Recommendations’ section of the MSPB report, Federal agencies should:
- Establish formal workplace violence programs that outline organizational responsibilities with respect to preventing workplace violence and responding to it when it does occur.
- Ensure that disparate organizations within their agencies are ready and able to work together to prevent workplace violence and to respond effectively to violent episodes when they do occur.
- Collect data on the prevalence and nature of violence in their organizations to inform the development of effective workplace violence prevention programs.
- Allow organizational leaders to base workplace violence prevention efforts and response plans on specific local needs.
- Bring together managers, supervisors, and human resources officials to specifically address the internal threat of workplace violence.