What is Workplace Violence?
Workplace violence is actual violence or the threat of violence against a coworker. In fact, workplace violence can be any act of physical violence, threats of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.
Generally when we think about the word "workplace," we think of a safe environment where we go to make a living in order to make our lives better. Many of us think of the workplace as a place that allows us to provide security for our families with the hopes of one-day achieving financial freedom.
However, in today's diverse culture, workplace violence is an issue that everyone in the labor force is aware of. It is naÃÂ¯ve to think that violence could never happen where you work because statistics show that violence can and does happen in the workplace regardless of the industry or organization.
We all have seen headlines such as these:
"Six Die In Workplace Shooting In Mississippi"
"Seven Killed in Boston Area Office Shooting"
"Gunman kills 1, wounds 3 in Seattle shipyard shooting"
"Gunman kills 7 in Honolulu office"
"Gunman in Atlanta rampage kills himself; 12 dead, 12 injured" (Reh, F. John, n.d.)
Therefore, an important question we should all ask ourselves is "How can we prevent violence in the workplace from occurring either individually or as a group?" This question is important because according to the According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), there were 639 workplace homicides in 2001 in the United States (OSHA, 2004). Even though the media mainly focuses mainly on the "wild and crazy - shoot-them up" type of violence in the workplace, violence among co-workers occurs more often than ever publicized. In fact, over two million American...