Infographic: Violence at Work

By Carlton Purvis

Almost 800 occupational fatalities occurred from workplace violence in 2011, according to preliminary statistics from the Justice Department. Nearly a third of those killed were in management or sales related positions.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) also found that women were twice as likely to be victims of fatal workplace violence. Check out the full infographic from Seyfarth Shaw, LLP and the BJS report Criminal Victimization, 2011.

Law enforcement officers, security guards, and bartenders had the highest rates of nonfatal workplace violence overall, according to the BJS. Non-governmental data suggests medical personnel are also at risk of higher rates of workplace violence. A survey released last November by the Emergency Nurses Association found that among emergency room nurses, 13 percent reported experiencing physical violence in the last seven days. The ENA study found that most incidents weren’t being formally reported.


Significant Error Noted

Dear Mr. Purvis, There is a serious and misleading error in your post. “Almost 800 occupational fatalities occurred from workplace violence in 2011… That's an 18 percent increase since last year.” Fortunately for workers across America this statement is incorrect. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries TABLE A-5 Fatal Occupational Injuries by Occupation and Event or Exposure, All United States, 2010, there were 832 workplace deaths due to “assaults and violent acts” that year. Of these 518 were intentional homicides. Of the 314 remaining, 270 were suicides, unfortunately an all-time high. Animal attacks were credited with the remaining 44 deaths. According to the most recent BLS CFOI (Preliminary Results), in 2011 there were 780 workplace deaths due to “violence and other injuries by persons or animals” (which now includes “violence by persons, self-inflicted injuries, and attacks by animals”). These deaths include 458 homicides, 242 suicides, 37 animal attacks, and 44 accidental violent deaths (almost half involving firearms discharged by the employee or a co-worker). You appear to have misapplied a statistic in the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics publication you refer to. Criminal Victimization, 2011, reports an 18% increase in all violent crime reported, but not workplace violence. When it comes to deaths due to violence at work the US Department of Labor BLS tells a significantly different and slightly more positive story. Homicide on the job is down 12%. Suicide at work is down 10%. Rather than representing an 18% increase over the previous year, the preliminary results show a 6% decrease in violent death at work from 2010 to 2011. Michael Brady, MA, CPP

Keen eye, Mr. Brady. There

Keen eye, Mr. Brady. There was an 18% increase in all violent crime, not workplace violence.

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