Workplace violence statistics show an increasing danger that lurks around where people work together for eight hours a day, five times a week. However, not everyone is aware of the potential incidents, and businesses often underestimate the possibility of such occurrences.
The latest statistics show that many businesses continue to under-report incidents that happen in the workplace. That often portrays a deceiving image of violence in companies, thus resulting in the inability to protect employees.
Statistics on Workplace Violence (Editor’s Choice)
- Around two million US workers experience workplace violence each year.
- Nearly 75% of all assaults happen in health care.
- 44% of school teachers reported workplace assaults.
- An alarming 30,000 workplace sexual assaults happen to women each year.
- Co-workers commit 21% of all assaults that end in homicide at work.
- Workplace assaults result in $121 billion in losses annually.
- 27% of all mass shootings have occurred in the workplace.
- Shockingly, 96% of all shooters are lone males.
Definition of Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is the act of physical violence, intimidation, or any other form of harassment that takes place in a working environment. It can range from the most common types like verbal abuse or threats to the more severe ones like sexual harassment or physical assaults, and in extreme cases, homicide.
Workplace violence remains a vital concern for many employers and their employees and needs to be addressed for proper containment.
1. Four types of violence can occur in the workplace.
Employers have to be familiar with the types and causes of workplace violence. They need to secure the workplace better and free it from any kind of misbehavior.
Type one violence is criminal intent, which is when the perpetrator commits a crime against a business. Type two violence is related to customers or clients in cases where the perpetrator is doing business with the company and becomes violent. Type three violence is referred to as worker-on-worker violence when the perpetrator is an employee who assaults another employee. Type four violence is related to domestic violence in cases where the perpetrator is not related to the business but is in a relationship with the victim.
2. On average, 1.5 million workplace violence cases are reported each year.
These staggering figures are worrisome, to say the least, but do not portray the actual number of assaults that happen in the workplace.
Out of those numbers, there were 396,000 cases of aggravated assaults, 84,000 robberies, 1,000 homicides, and 51,000 rapes or other sexual assaults.
3. Since 2010, there have been over 150 reported worker-on-worker killings.
Shootings that result in homicides are by far the deadliest acts of violence that can occur in the workplace. These workplace shooting statistics reveal a worrying trend that, unfortunately, shows no signs of stopping.
4. The FBI has identified 10 key behaviors of all shooters.
(Burlington Free Press)
The investigators have concluded that the most common problems active shooters face in their lives are issues with mental health and financial stability. Those two issues are by far the biggest stressors. What is even more worrying is that the majority of perpetrators have legally obtained their firearms.
5. 60% of all incidents occur in private companies.
Statistics indicate that the majority of assaults happen in private companies. Men are twice as likely to be the victims of violent crime at work compared to women. However, women are just as likely as men to be the victims of theft in the workplace.
The numbers are similar for assaults, threats, or abuse for both men and women.
Workplace Violence Statistics 2017
Workplace violence is not an issue that has come to light within the last couple of years. In fact, it has been an ongoing issue for quite some time now, and the general public is fully aware of its consequences.
However, awareness alone cannot decrease the number of violent acts that occur in the workplace. An employer must be able to quickly identify any misbehavior and act accordingly before anything serious happens.
The following violence in the workplace statistics emphasize the seriousness of the situation and the lack of awareness.
6. 43% of all surveyed employers believe workplace violence is not an issue that needs to be addressed.
Shocking, to say the least. Four out of ten corporate executives do not truly understand the gravity of this situation. Many do not even acknowledge the fact that violence occurs in their companies out of fear of bad reputation.
7. 67% of all surveyed employers believe that workplace violence will not impact their budget.
Workplace violence statistics report a staggering $121 billion in annual losses, yet two-thirds of all corporate executives believe their company will not suffer financially.
8. 43% of all workplace violence acts occur among co-workers.
Even though there are many acts of violence in the workplace after an employee gets fired, the numbers are twice as high for current employees. That further indicates that both managers and employees need to learn how to deal with violence and harassment in the workplace.
9. Diverse groups of people were victims of shootings in 30 separate incidents in 2017.
The FBI reported the highest number of accounts of workplace violence in 2017, as these statistics show that diverse groups were mostly targeted during their breaks at work.
10. Non-fatal violence occurs mostly in law enforcement agencies where 48 out of 1,000 people experience victimization.
These occupations are exposed to an increased risk of violence in the workplace. Law enforcement agents and health professionals also experience high levels of stress.
In contrast, other occupations have a greater risk of violence outside the workplace compared to police officers and medical workers.
11. There were 346 mass shootings in 2017 that occurred in the workplace.
(Gun Violence Archive)
Workplace violence stats show an increase in the frequency and severity of violent events that happen in and around the workplace. Those violent acts have escalated to the point where mass shootings occur more often than before.
12. The number of mass shootings has increased by 2.4 times.
Over the period between 2008 and 2017, the number of mass shootings has increased by more than two times compared to the 10-year period between 1998 and 2007. The majority of these shootings happened inside the companies’ facilities.
Workplace Violence Statistics 2018
Workplace violence has become the second biggest cause of death in the business world, right after traffic accidents. Unfortunately, the problem keeps rising with each passing year and becomes an issue businesses need to address.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA is an agency that is established to ensure safe and healthy conditions for all working men and women by enforcing standards and providing education, assistance, and training.
13. 25% of all violent acts that happen in the workplace go unreported.
According to these 2018 workplace violence statistics by OSHA, around three-quarters of all incidents are not followed through.
Alarmingly similar to the statistics related to sexual harassment in the workplace, a lot of individuals decide not to bring such acts to light, due to fear or shame, among other reasons.
14. In 2018, 75% of all violent acts occurred in health-care settings.
Health professionals face a higher risk of workplace violence. The risk is present due to the fact that health-care workers are in contact with many different types of people on a daily basis.
15. Only 30% of all nurses and 26% of all physicians reported these workplace violence incidents.
Even though the number of incidents in the health-care industry is way higher compared to other sectors, the number of reported incidents is still small. Reports indicate that some workers believe it is part of their job, while others consider it their “ethical duty” not to harm their patients.
16. 374,000 employees experienced violence at work.
The total number of reported incidents in 2018 was over 690,000, and employees submitted more than half of those. The most common acts of violence included threats and physical assault.
17. Out of all recent workplace violence incidents in 2018, 54% of them involved strangers.
Reports indicated that strangers instigated more than half of all incidents. The remaining 46% were caused mostly by clients or persons known to the people at work.
Even though incidents happened in the workplace, especially in the service industries, it was still shocking that so many people decided to go through with such behavior.
18. 59% of all reported violent acts in 2018 resulted in no physical injuries.
Fortunately, more than half of the incidents did not involve any physical violence, while 41% of the remaining instances of workplace violence in 2018 resulted in minor bruising only.
19. 32% of the offenders who carried out workplace assaults were under the influence of alcohol.
According to the reports, three out of ten instances of violent acts at work occurred when the offenders were intoxicated. When it comes to threats only, 27% of cases included offenders who were under the influence of alcohol.
Workplace Violence Statistics 2019
Most American workers believe their companies are safe from any kind of violent act. Additionally, most people said that they would know what to do if any violent event occurred in the workplace.
Bearing that in mind, about a quarter of American workers acknowledge that violence has happened in their workplace.
20. 76% of all registered nurses have experienced violence in the workplace.
(Becker’s Hospital Review)
When workplace violence statistics are taken into consideration, it is clear that health-care workers continue to be the most victimized individuals. That is supported by the fact that health professionals are in contact with patients and their families on a daily basis, so they often witness different kinds of misbehavior.
21. Nurses report 20% to 60% of all incidents.
(Becker’s Hospital Review)
While nurses are exposed to an increased rate of verbal abuse, threats, or physical violence, not every incident is being reported. These numbers are somewhat shocking, as it seems that a lot of violence in the workplace goes unreported.
22. Statistics on workplace violence indicate that 86% of all employees are unaware of past incidents in the company.
Even though the number of workers who acknowledge and recognize violent behavior in the workplace is high, about eight in ten individuals are unaware of any past violent events that occurred in their companies.
23. 45% of American workers are aware of workplace violence prevention programs.
Almost half of all employees are aware that there are prevention programs that help fight against harassment and violence in the workplace. Moreover, half of those employees also feel more secure, even in cases where violent acts did occur in their companies.
24. 65% of workplace homicides happened during a robbery.
Workplace homicide statistics show terrifying data that two-thirds of all robberies end in homicides. It is a worrying fact mostly for employees, as they are becoming victims of serious crimes.
25. 12% of workers feel unsafe at work.
One in seven employees feels pressure or tension while at work for any number of related reasons. That may seem like a small or insignificant number. Still, companies need to share information with every worker about the prevention techniques, training, and what resources are available to prevent violence.
26. Men are 23 times more likely to die in the workplace compared to women.
When taking workplace fatalities by gender into consideration, we can see that men are at an increased risk of being fatally injured or assaulted at work. If a company is found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations, it can be fined up to $20,000 per case.
If a company is being negligent or is deliberately breaking the law, fines can be even higher, or the person in charge can face imprisonment.
Unfortunately, workplace violence is a horrifying trend that continues to rise. It is essential to be more familiar with the issue, considering how many incidents go unreported. Agencies like OSHA and the United States Labor Department issue workplace violence statistics regularly with the hope of raising the general public’s awareness.
By implementing strict rules and regulations for companies to follow, these agencies continue to fight against violence on a daily basis. The companies that fail to implement them can face financial or even criminal charges.
We have outlined some shocking facts about workplace violence that should not be taken for granted.
Who keeps statistics on workplace violence?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration agency or OSHA is an agency of the United States Department of Labor, established by congress. It is primarily responsible for the regulation of stable and healthy working environments and assuring the safety of all working men and women in the United States.
OSHA is an organization that enforces statutes and regulations. Alongside the Bureau of Labor Statistics it is responsible for reporting workplace violence by collecting, processing, and analyzing all essential data regarding any violent acts or events that the general public needs to be aware of.
Sometimes, various psychological disorders may be a direct cause of violent behavior. Hence, it is important that such organizations track, analyze, and report potential offenders’ behavior. That way, companies can implement prevention techniques, as well as training.
How many American workers are victims of workplace violence each year?
The OSHA organization reports that around two million American workers are subjected to workplace violence annually. Workplace violence can strike at any time and anywhere. Unfortunately, no one is immune to such acts. Some workers are even exposed to greater risk, such as those working in the health-care industry.
Employees can protect themselves by learning how to recognize and avoid potentially violent situations. They can alert their supervisors, avoid traveling alone or carry little money with them, among other things.
Most companies implement prevention techniques and offer training that can be very helpful.
How common is workplace violence?
Workplace violence has tripled in the last decade, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 15% of all work-related fatal injuries, including assaults and suicides, happen as a result of violent acts. These numbers indicate a growing trend of violence in the workplace, with assault being the most common type.
More than three-quarters of all reported incidents have elements of assault, while threats and verbal abuse are less common, but still an indicative factor of the problem many people face.
What are the four types of workplace violence?
By understanding the types of workplace violence, companies and employees can better identify risks and take measures to improve the security of their workplaces. Mainly, there are four types of workplace violence:
- Type one: Criminal intent—the offender is not related in any way to the company or its employees. The violence associated with this type is incidental.
- Type two: Client or customer—the offender is in direct contact with the company, either by being its customer/client or a business associate. Statistics on workplace violence by industry indicate that health-care workers are the ones most prone to this type of violence.
- Type three: Worker-on-worker—the offender may be an employee or past employee who threatens, abuses, or assaults other employees in the workplace. Every workplace is at risk of this type of violence.
- Type four: Personal relationship—the offender has nothing to do with the company, but is in some kind of relationship with the victim working in the company. Every workplace can experience violence of this type, but the most common targets are employees who are victims of domestic violence.
How many workplace violence incidents were there in 2017?
There are around two million incidents at work taking place every year in the US. The number of violent events that happened at work in 2017 was around 694,000.
These are terrifying numbers as employees witnessed injuries that occurred in 18,400 cases, while 458 accounts of violent acts resulted in casualties.