Workplace Violence

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Countering Workplace Violence: The Scientific Approach

Workplace violence incidences are on the rise, driven by cultural, economic, social and psychological triggers such as drug use, economic hardship, domestic conflicts, communication problems, actual or perceived sense of injustice in the workplace, and even traumatic family events (e.g., death, illness and injury).

Workplace violence exacts a huge price on both employees and employers and impacts the physical and psychological wellbeing of employees, their productivity, morale, ethics and, in some cases, their very survival. Organizations may suffer from absenteeism, legal actions, declining workers’ performance and rattled organizational culture.

Workplace Violence Definition[1]

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and with some modifications to accommodate for changing technologies and cultures, workplace violence is the act or threat of violence that ranges from verbal, physical or cyber abuse, and can be directed toward persons at or associated with work.

Workplace Violence: The Numbers

Workplace violence incidents have tripled in the last decade and currently makes up the fastest growing category of murder in the US. Workplace violence is also the second leading cause of death for women in the workplace (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).

Here are some of the alarming statistics:

  • According to OSHA, 2 million workers in America are victims of workplace violence each year.
  • In the period 2000-2015, over 1,000 active shooter casualties occurred in the workplace.
  • Workplace violence researchers assess that the cost to American business ranges from $6 billion to $36 billion each year (FBI, 2011).
  • According to the Workplace Violence Research Institute, neglectful hiring and negligent employee retention out-of-court disbursements due to workplace violence lawsuits averaged more than $500,000. Jury rulings in these cases averaged $3 million (2012).
  • In the private sector, 88% of the most violent incidents in the workplace occur in service-related fields.
  • Healthcare workers are 16 times more likely to experience violence than other service workers.
  • More than half of healthcare workers have experienced at least one incident of physical or psychological violence during their professional lifetime.
  • In the US, assaults against healthcare workers account for nearly 70% of nonfatal injuries from occupational violence.

TAL Global – A Holistic Approach to Workplace Violence

Our Workplace Violence Department is headed by Dr. Mark Lipian, one of America’s leading forensic psychiatrists and workplace violence experts. Dr. Lipian has developed, tested, and practices a holistic, 4-stage process, designed to provide a comprehensive danger management response to threats of workplace violence:

  • Stage 1 – Immediate Intervention: When something happens, we will be on site immediately, to help contain the situation, prevent further escalation, and provide instant security and safety to people and property.
  • Stage 2 – Threat and violence Assessment: We use multiple diagnostic, investigative and analytic tools to get to the root of the situation.
  • Stage 3 – Action Plan: Once we feel that we understand the situation, we develop and implement a comprehensive action plan, including medical and psychiatric assessments, profiling, resource allocation, legal, vocational, security and law enforcement guidelines.
  • Stage 4 – Organizational “Inoculation”: Using internal and external personnel, hardware and software security measures, and even stealth resources, we make sure that you and your personnel are trained to handle future events early and expeditiously.

Additional Reading about Workplace Violence:

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Dr. Mark Lipian, M.D., Ph.D. Clinical and Forensic Psychiatrist

In addition to his position with TAL Global, Dr. Lipian is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at both UCLA and the University of California at Irvine. He is also Medical Director of the Orange County Conditional Release Program, a clinic for court-mandated treatment of mentally ill offenders.