Economic Uncertainty and Workplace Violence

In this current economic downturn, some people are sounding the alarm that workplace violence is on the increase

“We are seeing an increase in workplace violence across the country, and it’s likely to get a lot worse as the unemployment rate continues to escalate,” says Jack Levin, the Irving and Betty Brudnick professor of sociology and criminology at Boston’s Northeastern University.
Risk of workplace violence grows in economic bad times: experts

While others express the opinion that there is no such correlation

So, statistically speaking, the gravity of the current economic emergency and its accompanying job losses doesn’t even outweigh your cubical neighbour’s incessant nail tapping or your bosses recurring idiosyncrasies.
Workplace violence in a failing economy: increased threat?

However, some find the following disturbing

In the United States, gun dealers are attributing a near 30-per-cent increase in firearms purchases during the first two months of this year to spikes in fears of social and economic upheaval.

“Better safe than sorry.” Therefore, regardless of the economic situation, now is probably a good time to review your workplace violence policies and procedures. Here are some resources that can help.

Workplace Violence Resources

OSHA Fact Sheet on Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. However it manifests itself, workplace violence is a growing concern for employers and employees nationwide.

Workplace Violence Prevention – A Comprehensive Guide for Employers and Employees
Our society has become increasingly technological and mobile. With the onset of computers, fax machines, and e-mails, face-to-face communication may be decreasing for many people. The potential to become more isolated at work and home is increasing. Fewer people know their neighbors and may interact with them less frequently.

NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Occupational Violence
An average of 1.7 million people were victims of violent crime while working or on duty in the United States, according to a report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), each year from 1993 through 1999. An estimated 1.3 million (75%) of these incidents were simple assaults while an additional 19% were aggravated assaults. Of the occupations examined, police officers, corrections officers, and taxi drivers were victimized at the highest rates.

Workplace Violence Issues in Response
Workplace violence is now recognized as a specific category of violent crime that calls for distinct responses from employers, law enforcement, and the community.This recognition is relatively recent. Prior to the Edmond shootings, the few research and preventive efforts that existed were focused on particular issues—patient assaults on health care workers and the high robbery and murder risks facing taxi drivers and late-night convenience store clerks.

And, of course, our very own workplace violence safety and training products