To be fair, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has correctly (and rather dryly) titled their aggregation "Violence and other injuries by persons or animals" but the most common definition of "workplace violence" usually includes only Type II - Client, Customer, Student, or Patient, Type III - Coworker or Former Coworker, and Type IV - Personal Relations. Deaths in these categories totaled about 170 in 2011, or 4% of all fatal injuries at work nationwide. Without street crime, suicides, unintentional killings, and animal-caused deaths "workplace violence" would be ranked as the 7th most common cause of death at work.
“Workplace homicides were higher by 10 cases after the updates, bringing the workplace homicide total in 2011 to 468 cases. Work-related suicides increased by 8 cases.”
Violent crime, guns deaths, workplace homicides, non-fatal injuries due to violence at work are all way down. Mass murder and school shootings are flat. When it comes to violent injury or death most employees are safer on the job than they are away from work.
Slide 11 – Statistics
Most common was simple assaults; 1.5 million a year
Aggravated assaults: 396,000
Rapes and sexual assaults: 51,000
Homicides: nearly 1,000
“In 1993, the rate of nonfatal violence was 16 violent crimes per 1,000 employed persons while at work...”“The rate of violent crime against employed persons has declined since 1993. In 2009, an estimated 4 violent crimes per 1,000 employed persons age 16 or older were committed while the victims were at work or on duty…”“In 2009, approximately 572,000 nonfatal violent crimes (rape/sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault) occurred against persons age 16 or older while they were at work or on duty…”
"maintain that both forms of violence (work and school) are on the increase"
"Generally, homicides in schools comprised less than 2% of all homicides of youth ages 5 to 18."
"I mean, shouldn't it be as simple as, 'Let's make our schools (and workplaces) safer tomorrow than they were yesterday' and what would that look like? We need to do A, B, C...etc...and then we do it."
"I think it requires security professionals to see beyond any hysteria (often created by media and politicians after the high-profile incidents) and be the 'voice of reason'"
Workplace Violence... Perhaps we in the public and private protection professions need to dis-aggregate this loaded and frequently misused term. Perhaps if Americans knew that 1/3 of all violent death in the workplace is self-inflicted the taboo of untreated depression and the importance of affordable mental health care would get their fair share of attention. Perhaps if Americans knew that 1/3 of all violent workplace deaths are the result of street crime – rather than crazed coworkers – we could reduce the amount of hysteria generated by this often overheated topic.