Workplace violence is any of several behaviors that entail violence, threats of violence and similar conduct that makes people worry for their physical safety, be they a customer or employee, regardless of whether it occurs on or off the clock. Most companies regard harassment and bullying tantamount to workplace violence. There’s also the issue that violence originating within a customer or employee’s home may spill over into their work through assault, threats of violence or other aggressive action perpetrated through employee relationships. Workplace violence does not have to draw blood or even make physical contact to become an issue; even threats and intimidating conduct is a sufficient qualifier.
One survey on the topic discerned that only 36 percent of all companies report workplace violence. Employers worried over this topic need to understand that there are four main classifications of workplace violence.
Type #1: Criminal Intent
This is when violence occurs and the perpetrator has no connection to the business or its employees, seeking merely to perform a crime that will likely involve physically harming someone. Most workplace homicides, as well as incidents of robbery, shoplifting, terrorism and even criminal trespass qualify.
Type #2: Customer/Client
This happens when the perpetrator has an acceptable relationship with the business and becomes hostile while being served. While this can be perpetrated by any group being serviced by a business, the bulk of occurrence of this form of workplace violence tend to happen within the healthcare sector, in places like nursing homes and mental health facilities-the most common victim of this sort of harassment tend to be the caregivers of patients.
There is also a fair number of incidents of workplace violence being committed against police, flight attendants and educators. These three professions account for 3 percent of all workplace homicides.
Type #3: Worker vs. Worker
This form of workplace violence arises when a current or former employee commits violence against another current or former employee. This category is responsible for 7 percent of workplace homicides.
Type #4: Personal Relationships
In this type of workplace violence, the perpetrator is unconnected to the business but is connected to one of the victims. This is the sort of situation that arises when the victims of domestic violence have their violator show up to continue the unwanted attention at the job site. 5 percent of all work-related homicides would be considered this type.