Eleven Stats About Workplace Violence You Probably Did Not Know

On April 27, 2023, Oscar Villanueva, Chief Operating Officer of TAL Global, will present a webinar entitled What Is a Workplace Violence Program and Why Do I Need One? .

Villanueva is a recognized expert on this topic. His experience with the U.S Postal Inspection Service, handling workplace violence (WPV) at various levels of the organization, including actively participating and implementing a seminal workplace violence program, is now widely considered the “gold standard” for keeping the workplace safe and secure.

According to Villanueva, “fortunately, today, there is greater awareness of WPV and its impact on the workplace. But many people in this country are unaware of how big a problem it is, how many millions of employees are victims of WPV each year, and the annual cost of WPV for employers. Before taking a closer look at WPV, let’s start with a working definition. According to Villanueva, WPV can be defined as:

An act or threat of violence, harassment, intimidation, or menacing behavior that occurs at the workplace. This can include everything from actual physical assaults to verbal assaults and can involve not only those working for an organization, but clients, vendors, and even customers of that organization.

With this in mind, here are eleven stats about workplace violence that you may not have known before:

  1. Seventy-three percent of the victims of WPV are women.
  2. Sixty percent of WPV victims are between the ages of 25 and 54.
  3. The healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable to WPV. Seventy-six percent of those who work in healthcare and healthcare-related social assistance have reported being the victims of WPV.
  4. Little-known fact – WPV is the leading cause of taxi driver deaths in the U.S. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, taxi drivers and chauffeurs in 2017 had a fatal injury rate of 10.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, compared with 3.5 for all workers. Further, Uber reported 141 incidents of rape and 998 incidents of sexual assault in 2020, even as the pandemic crippled its business and ridership plummeted.
  5. Of those that are the targets of WPV, 22 percent needed to take three to five days off from work to recover, and another 22 percent needed 31 or more days to recover.
  6. Seventy-five percent of U.S. office workers report they have experienced or witnessed some form of WPV or workplace misconduct.
  7.  Fourteen percent of staffers who experience WPV or misconduct end up leaving their jobs within a year
  8. In 2020, WPV assaults numbered more than 20,000, resulting in 392 fatalities. Plus, this occurred during the pandemic when many people were working from home. These numbers could have been even higher if more people had been back at work. (See Sidebar: Study/Publication Dates)
  9.  According to PressGaney, an award-winning organization focusing on healthcare issues, on average, “two nurses are assaulted every hour in this country,” with the highest number of assaults happening in psychiatric units, emergency departments, “and, surprisingly, pediatric units such as pediatric burn, pediatric rehabilitation, and pediatric surgery.”
  10. In healthcare and many other industries, most of the assailants are male. The only exception is in healthcare pediatrics, where the majority are female.
  11. The costs of WPV for American businesses are hard to pinpoint because there are so many variables. Further, the costs can be direct – for instance, the actual medical costs and sick leave – or indirect- how much it costs to lose an employee due to WPV and hire and train a replacement.  However, no matter how these dollar amounts are compiled, or which source is used, invariably the numbers are staggering, ranging anywhere from $8.5 billion per year to more than $20 billion.

For more information on this important webinar regarding workplace violence, click here.

For more information on workplace violence, click here.

Sidebar: Study/Publication Dates

Reported statistics are typically one to three years behind their publication. For instance, statistics reported in 2023 may have been compiled in 2020, 2021 and 2022.


National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Last Reviewed: August 31, 2022

Workplace Misconduct Cost U.S. Businesses $20 Billion In Past Year: New Study,” by Edward Segal, Forbes, December 16, 2021.

NBC News

© TAL Global, 2019