Workplace violence is considered a crime and is fast becoming more of

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Workplace violence is considered a crime and is fast becoming more of a common event in today’s working environment. It has complicated many of the aspects of what we consider “hazards of the job”. Workplace murder is the leading cause of female occupational fatalities and the second leading cause of male occupational fatalities in the United States (The Hartford , 1999). How are victims selected by perpetrators during this violent phase? In this paper, we argue as to why are they targeted and how does an organization protect their employees from harm? Workplace violence can evolve sometimes by something such as a perceived wrong committed by another coworker. Therefore, one would anticipate that workplace violence to be more common in societies where jobs are high-pressured and immediate demand of results are constant. Paper examines some preventive strategies, and concludes that it is essential that all levels of an organization receive some form of training about the potential for violence in the workplace. Reference:The Hartford, Inc. (1999, October 28). Workplace Violence Prevention Program, Retrieved November 27, 2018 from physical safety of employees at work has now become a major concern for many working in executive and industrial environments nationwide. Every year, more people are becoming victims of a trend that has been steadily climbing. Approximately two million people a year are affected by some form of workplace violence on their jobs (FBI, 2017). This type of violence comes in many forms, whether it is through the use of a firearm, other types of weapons, physical force, sexual harassment, verbal abuse or bullying. This report will approach a few of the more profiled underlining topics that focuses on possible causes to workplace violence and how does an organization, with help from its human resources, handle this problem and whose vulnerable through these acts. This report will also look at society in general and what mechanisms are in place in attempt to stem the flow of violence in America’s workplace. What is workplace violence? Workplace violence is defined as “a violence, usually in the form of physical abuse or threats that creates a risk to the health and safety of an employee or multiple employees” (OSHA, 2002). As a general rule, an employer is required to provide each of its employees a place of employment free of recognized hazards that will likely cause death or serious physical harm. Workplace violence occurs at the person’s place of employment, but can also occur outside of the workplace. Costs to employers are estimated in the millions due to vacant positions going unfilled, medical costs and costs related to litigation. Incidents involving work-related stalking are more prevalent according to industry. This would also include once perceived relationships, revenge upon a manager or supervisor and bullying. Unfortunately, many incidents of workplace violence go unreported due to intimidation of the perpetrator or fear of being reprimanded by the organization’s management. In some instances, persons that were stalked by other coworkers were attacked, but later revealed that they never took the complaint to management or contacted law enforcement because it was considered a personal matter, and thought they could handle it on their own and without management getting the wrong ideal. What causes workplace violence? Workplace violence has many beginnings, and the majority of them lead to tragic endings. The most common occurrence linked to workplace violence is when a person has become disgruntled with a personal work situation gone badly between the employee and management relationship. However, workplace violence is not always about work-related issues. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated, that in two-thirds of workplace homicides, the attacker had no known personal relationship with the victim (Bureau of Labor, 2018). Tense situations create a riff in the trust with either the coworker or management, and the situation spirals with little or no communication between the parties. Example given is getting passed over for a promotion, or a perceived unjustified termination of employment can ignite the situation. The majority of workplace violence comes without warning but signs of aggressive behavior have been previously noted in past incidents. Example, in October 2017, three Hartford County Maryland employees working at a granite manufacturing plant were shot and killed and three others were wounded by a fellow coworker. The suspected coworker then fled the plant and crossed over state lines on a high-speed chase where he was apprehended by law enforcement. The widow of one of the dead victims reported that her husband often mentioned to her, on multiple occasions, how the perpetrator would show up to work always very angry and saying unkind things to people (, 2017). Based on witness statements, police determined that the suspect had targeted his victims and that it was not a random act of violence. History showed that the suspect had prior violent clashes with coworkers at another granite plant where he was employed. Questions could be raised to the liability if management or Human Resources (HR) was ever aware of the employee’s past aggressive behavior, and did others feel uncomfortable working around him. Research has suggested that stress also plays an integral part of how workplace violence evolves. Everyday pressures relating to home life matters, finances, physical and emotional status, all play a part to where this comes to a boiling point. Not having a reasonable outlet for release, some employees resort to drinking, drugs, and other risky behavior that erodes their psyche. Organizations are responsible for having anti-harassment policies and programs in place and ensure that their employees are familiar with the processes and know how to proceed with a grievance if need be. HR management department is on the frontline for completing this task. It is up to the workforce to ensure they are working in compliance of those policies. 500 Work-related homicides by type of assailant and gender of victim in 2016 *(BOLS, 2016)Assailant type Women Men Number Percent Number PercentTotal 91 100% 409 100%Robber 15 16 137 33Other or unspecified assailant 16 18 117 29Inmate, detainee, or suspect not yet apprehended 4 4 53 13Coworker or work associate 13 14 53 13Student, patient, or customer/client 7 8 42 10Relative or domestic partner 36 40 7 2Health care and its high-risk occupation: Sometimes it is just a matter of being in a hazardous occupation that heightens the risk factor of violence on the job. Statistically, the healthcare industry has one of the highest rates of workplace violence incidents. Violence in the healthcare industry occurs at a rate of four times that of any other industries. Health care workers suffer more workplace injuries than any other profession, with about 654,000 harmed per year on the job. From 2003 to 2010, incidents of serious workplace violence were four times more common in health care settings than in private industry (OSHA, 2018). Some organization management feel that the problem has not climaxed to a point to where no action is currently needed—this could also be a situation in denial. Healthcare divisions in hospital emergency rooms, psychiatric facilities, mental and substance abuse clinics, and community long-term care facilities all have reported rises in aggression towards its healthcare workers and other patients. Women serving as nurses, medical attendants and doctors are assaulted at a 3 to 1 rate than other comparable males in the professions. For healthcare workers overall, assaults comprise 10-11% of workplace injuries involving days away from work, as compared to 3% of injuries of all private sector employees. Many physicians, nurses and others simply do not recognize the immediate risk of their occupation, worse yet, they consider it part of the job. Across the medical arena, somewhere between 40 and 75 percent of health care workers report having suffered physical or verbal abuse from patients. Human Resources and Background checks: The primary function of any HR is to ensure the organization complies with federal and state labor and employment laws. HR also assists with worker safety, with its primary role to ensure compliance is given to federal guidelines established by U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Improving ways to curb workplace violence starts with a viable workplace security plan, in which HR is active in. Another way HR helps in the hiring process is how potential candidates are screened using background checks. Background checks could be the first line of defense in preventing persons of questionable character into the organization. Background checks are usually done through local, state and in some cases, national criminal agency database checks. Background pre-employment investigations are handled by the organization’s own security department, or sometimes contracted out by a reputable investigative service. If background checks reveal criminal convictions, HR professionals should inquire of the candidate about their convictions. This is done to ensure of results revealed on hand to that of what explanations the candidate may give. Some states have laws which prevents employers from conducting background checks until that organization has presented the person with a conditional offer of employment letter (SHRM, October 20117). If an applicant has past convictions, this is to say that not all crimes from the past may not be an absolute “job killer” for. However, a conviction for a violent act, such as assault—particularly if it was recent—may compel an employer to recant an offer of employment. Employers should view any long gaps of unemployment in applications with some scrutiny. It could hide other factors affecting employments such as incarceration or being fired from another job not previously revealed. Many HR professionals suggest that a credit check should be done as procedural. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the organization responsible for oversight regarding applicant checks, provides guidance to ensure fair review and determination of credit reports vital to employment. Credit reports can reveal if a person’s financial structure is under strain and of their overall credit worthiness. Most states allow employees to use credit reports fairly in the hiring process, however, some states have restricted its use to specified occupations which involves mainly financial markets. Safety Training & Other Security Measures: The role of HR in the safety and health of an organization depends on the structure and size of the organization. Smaller companies may be limited in what they can do, versus what larger companies can provide. It is every organizations’ intent to provide each employee with a place of employment free from recognized hazards. These hazards carry the potential of causing serious physical harm or even death to employees. In many cases, the Safety and Health Department will need the assistance of the HR Department in order to properly communicate policies and procedures, as well as obtain the necessary assistance to ensure that all employees are receiving the proper training (SafetyOutlook, 2016). With the increase of workplace violence, every HR department has become increasingly familiar with incorporating active shooter training needed for its personnel. An active shooter is defined as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area” (, 2018). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued guidelines for what to do in an active shooter situation: run, hide, and fight ( The concept behind active shooter training is to get each individual to work as a team, save lives and disrupt the shooter. Each organization is engaging in different ways of approach training. Some organizations may conduct training through their own security department, while other organizations may contract through an outside firm that specializes in evasive tactical training. Sadly, with recent school mass shootings, school administrations have gotten onboard and now promote more extensive active shooter drills involving students and faculty. This training not only helps employees survive a shooter’s rampage, but it teaches how to recognize other threats such as explosive devices and suspicious persons on campus. In the end, it brings a much needed knowledge base to vulnerable industries. Closing argument: We see today’s society with much violence ranging from random mass shootings like we experienced in October 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, when a man shot and killed 58 people from his hotel window. To the more planned murders, like in