Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Violence in the American Workplace: A Study in Risk Assessment & Response

Workplace violence has been identified as the most important security threat to American workplaces (Hoober, 2006). A variety of costs amass from workplace violence. While the human pain and suffering are tantamount, also costly are lost dollars and productivity. This paper explores the question of how a representative set of businesses assess the risk, as the starting point for managing the risk of violence to their employees in the workplace. Literature on this topic, a report by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and an online survey conducted by the authors provided the basis for conclusions. This issue should be a topic of concern for every business person because half of all very large companies will have a workplace violence incident this year. In the case of mid-sized companies, the Bureau places the number of incidents low, but other literature and the author?s research suggest a number at nearly 30%. This paper suggests both government and business need to place more emphasis on preventing this problem from continuing by means of thorough risk assessment.