Occupational violence is defined as an event that occurs when a worker is attacked or threatened in the workplace. According to a report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 1.7 million people in the United States were victims of violent crime while working or on duty each year between 1993 and 1999.Because of a drastic change in the work force of America over the last 50 years, women are facing different job-related problems than men. Working women face heavy workload demands, family balance issues and sexual harassment, as well as the risk of violence in the workplace.According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 40 percent of all workplace death among female workers is due to homicide. Workplace homicides are primarily robberies, and occur in gas stations or grocery/convenience stores. Twenty-five percent of female victims assaulted in the workplace are assaulted by people they know. Additionally, women are victims in nearly two out of every three assaults that occur in the workplace. These assaults primarily occur in the service industry, and a smaller percentage occur in retail locations, restaurants, and grocery stores.There are a number of prevention strategies available that can keep high-risk people safe in the workplace:,
- Implement cash handling policies in retail and bank settings, and install physical separations between customers and clients in gas stations, retail stores, and hospital emergency departments.
- Use increased lighting in high-risk areas to decrease the risk of workplace assaults.
- More effectively monitor workplace entrances and exits, so you know the area is restricted to nonemployees.
- Purchase personal protective equipment such as body armor for public safety personnel.
- Finally, train employees in conflict response and resolution.
By following these simple strategies, it will be easier to keep your work place safer and free of violence.