Each year, nearly one million individuals
become victims of violent crime while
working or on duty. These victimizations
account for 15 percent of the over six-and-a-half million acts of violence experienced by
Americans age 12 or older. (Ronet Bachman,
Ph.D., July 1994, "Violence and Theft in the Workplace,"
page 1, National Crime Victimization Survey, Bureau of
Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington,
Crime victimizations occurring in the
workplace cost about half a million
employees 1,751,100 days of work each
year, an average of 3.5 days per crime. This
missed work resulted in over $55 million in
lost wages annually, not including days
covered by sick and annual leave. (Ibid., page
Victims who were working were as likely to
face armed offenders as those victimized
while not working. Over 30 percent of
victims who were working during a violent
victimization faced armed offenders.
Almost a third of these offenders had a
handgun. (Ibid., page 1)
Six out of ten incidents of workplace
violence occurred in private companies.
(Ibid., page 1).
Homicide was the third leading cause of occupational death from 1980 to 1985, accounting for 13 percent of all workplace deaths. Homicide is the leading cause of death in the workplace for women. (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1992,
"Homicide in U.S. Workplace," Morgantown. W V)
According to a 1993 survey, more than two
million Americans were victims of a
physical attack at work during the past year.
Another six million Americans workers
were threatened, and 16 million were
harassed. (Northwestern National Life Insurance
Company, 1993, "Fear and Violence in the Workplace,"
page 4, Minneapolis, MN)
Victims of violence or harassment
experienced twice the rate of stress-related
conditions, including depression, anger,
insomnia, headaches and ulcers as non-victims (35 percent versus 18 percent); were
20 times more likely to say their
productivity was reduced (21 percent versus
one percent); and were ten times more likely
to want to change jobs (39 percent versus
four percent). (Ibid., page 6)
Most attackers and harassers were people
that victims dealt with on a daily basis.
Customers, clients and patients accounted
for the largest segment of attackers (44
percent). Co-workers and bosses accounted
for 86 percent of all harassment at work,
one-third of threats, and one-fourth of
workplace attacks. (Ibid., page 10)
The rate of workplace homicide has tripled
in the last decade, and is now one of the
fastest growing types of homicide in the
United States. (S. Anthony Baron, Ph.D., 1993,
Violence in the Workplace: A Prevention and Management
Guide for Businesses, page 15, Pathfinder Publishing,