We recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn asking the following question:
In 2019, there were 73,000 incidents of workplace violence in the U.S. Which industry was most impacted?
These were the results:
- Retail Sector, 24 percent
- Government-Related, 9 percent
- Healthcare/Hospital, 59 percent
- Industrial/Warehouse, 9 percent.
For the most part, the responses are correct.
It is estimated that at least 50 percent or more of the workplace violence in this country is in the medical sector. Worse, due to COVID, this percentage appears to be on the rise. Today, medical facilities are very tense, emotion-ridden, and over-crowded places, all of which makes them a breeding ground for workplace violence.
While we have posted a number of blogs on our website about workplace violence in the past month, we want to explore this topic just a bit further. This is because there are many statistics about workplace violence that are shocking, for lack of a better word. However, as disturbing as they are, we need to know about them. It’s the first step in addressing them.
Here are seven of the most troublesome:
- Two million people report some form of workplace violence each year. However, this may not be corrected. The actual number is likely much higher.
- In 2020, only thirty percent of employees were aware of their company’s safety and violence prevention plan. This means 70 percent of these employees have no idea what to do should there be a shooting, a medical emergency, a cyber-attack, or even a weather disaster.
- We already mentioned that most workplace violence in this country occurs in medical facilities. Looking at these numbers even further, we find that 70 percent of nurses having been assaulted on the job, and nearly 50 percent of emergency doctors experience some form of violence while on duty.
- Workplace violence is demonstrated in different forms. Twenty-three percent of women report being sexually assaulted in the workplace. Once again, the actual number may be much higher. Nearly 10 percent of workplace violence involves hitting, kicking, beating, or pushing someone else in the facility. These are rarely reported.
- An evolving problem, 42 percent of women, now report that sexual harassment at work occurs not in the office but online. Additionally, 23 percent of employees report being bullied via email.
- A third of all workplace violence involves head injuries. More than 20 percent are upper body incidents, 14 percent the trunk, and seven percent lower body attacks.
- Workplace violence results in more than $130 billion lost every year. This includes medical costs and lawsuits, making this a tremendous loss for businesses throughout the country.
And finally, as of April 2021, workplace violence in the U.S. has taken the lives of at least 26 people. But that just involves workplace violence. Some other incidents we should be aware of are the following:
- A mass shooting earlier this year in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, resulted in 10 victims.
- In Indianapolis, there was a shooting in a FedEx warehouse. Eight people lost their lives, while five were injured.
- Eight people died, and one was injured in the Atlanta massage parlor shootings.
Can these incidents and workplace violence be prevented? The answer is no.
Can they be minimized? The answer is yes.
A risk assessment and the implementation of an effective violence prevention strategy are crucial to reducing these numbers. As we have discussed in related posts, too many organizations believe that these incidents “can’t happen here.” This begs another question:
Note: all numbers and percentages are annual numbers.
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