Nearly 1,000 workers are murdered, and 1.5 million are assaulted in the workplace each year. Workplace violence is the second leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the United States (second only to automobile accidents). 709 workplace homicides were committed in 1998, accounting for 12% of the total 6,026 fatal work injuries in the United States.

Redefining workplace safety Workplace safety and health hazards have traditionally been viewed as unsafe work practices, hazardous industrial conditions, or exposures to harmful chemical, biologic or physical agents–not violent acts committed by other human beings.

Recently though, employees, supervisors and managers, have become all too frequent victims of assaults or other violent acts in the workplace which entail a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm. Many of these assaults result in fatal injury, but an even greater number result in nonfatal injury, or in the threat of injury, which can lead to medical treatment, missed work, lost wages and decreased productivity.

“Workplace violence has emerged as an important safety and health issue in today’s workplace. Its most extreme form, homicide, is the second leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the United States. Nearly 1,000 workers are murdered, and 1.5 million are assaulted in the workplace each year.

According to the BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI),there were 709 workplace homicides in 1998, accounting for 12% of the total 6,026 fatal work injuries in theUnited States.”