2022Workplace Violence

Written By Digital Content Editor Thomas Ahearn

In July 2022, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report titled “Indicators of Workplace Violence, 2019” which provides findings on fatal and nonfatal crimes that occurred in the workplace or away from work but over work-related issues, according to a press release from the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP).

Over a 27-year period from 1992 to 2019, the study found that nearly 18,000 persons were killed at work, on duty, or in violence that was work-related, using data from BLS’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), During the combined five years from 2015 to 2019, the study found an annual average of 1.3 million nonfatal workplace violent victimizations occurred, based on data from BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

In other findings based on the NCVS, the study found that strangers committed about half (47%) of nonfatal workplace violence during 2015–19, with male victims less likely than female victims to know the offender. The offender was unarmed in 78% of nonfatal workplace violence, and the victim sustained an injury in 12%. Fifteen percent of victims of nonfatal workplace violence reported severe emotional distress due to the crime.

The joint study also stated that about 529,000 nonfatal injuries from workplace violence were treated in hospital emergency departments (EDs) for the combined 2015-19 period, based on data from NIOSH’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Occupational Supplement. This was a rate of 7.1 ED-treated injuries per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. Physical assaults accounted for 83% of such injuries.

“Indicators of Workplace Violence, 2019” (NCJ 250748; NIOSH 2022-124) was written by Erika Harrell of BJS; Lynn Langton, formerly of BJS; Jeremy Petosa of BLS; Stephen M. Pegula and Mark Zak, formerly of BLS; and Susan Derk, Dan Hartley and Audrey Reichard of NIOSH. The report and related documents are available at https://www.ojp.gov/library/publications/indicators-workplace-violence-2019-0.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar, a leading Human Resources technology firm that specializes in background, drug, clinical, and occupational health screening – provides background check services for employers that can help to reduce the chances of workplace violence by revealing employees who could be too unfit and dangerous for the job in question. To learn more, contact ESR today.

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