Violence in the American Workplace Essay

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Violence in the American Workplace

The American workplace has become a battle ground. Each year thousands of worker’s fall victim to workplace violence, or are at least threatened with acts of violence. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

Workplace violence has emerged as an important safety and health issue in today's workplace. It's 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.

The threat of violence in the workplace is a growing phenomena that affects all levels of the work force from taxi drivers to stock traders. According to
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Research clearly shows a significant increase in the amount of violence and conflict in the workplace in recent years. In 1992, the Centers for Disease Control declared workplace homicide a serious public health epidemic requiring priority attention by policy makers (Kinney & Johnson, 1993). Having tripled in the last decade, workplace homicide is the fastest-growing form of murder in the United States (Baron, 1993) and is the leading cause of workplace death for women (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1994). In fact, murder and other violent crimes have escalated in the workplace to the point that the U.S. Department of Justice recently proclaimed the workplace the most

dangerous place to be in America.

In consideration of these shocking and disturbing facts, it is imperative that we understand exactly what workplace violence is and to identify it’s contributing factors. Without an understanding of the context of workplace violence, it will be difficult to isolate the factors that contribute to the phenomena and what measures can be taken to prevent or avoid it.

What Is Workplace Violence and What are the Causes?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention and Response, workplace violence is defined as:

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