According to a new report, most American companies identify workplace violence as a priority and are doing their best to respond. However, smaller companies with more resource constraints lag behind larger businesses in having elements of a comprehensive program.
Workplace violence in the U.S. makes up 16% of all workplace deaths, according to the 2015 Bureau Labor of Statistics, and is the 3rd leading cause of on–the–job deaths after transportation incidents and falls.
Most of the 77 surveyed companies were members of the Association for Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), and represented industries such as manufacturing, finance and insurance, information technology, retail and media/communications.
Most of the companies (90%) reported having workplace violence prevention (WPV) policies in place and evaluation activities to measure the effectiveness of their WVP programs (89%). More than 90% used WVP teams along with external consults (e.g. psychologists), 70% used threat assessment tools, and most trained their WVP teams at least annually on topics recommended by industry standards – like violence risk screening and intervention techniques.
However, smaller companies (less than 5,000 employees) evaluated their WVP programs less often, trained their WVP teams on fewer topics, and relied on fewer external resources than larger companies.
Another gap: Although most companies (75%) provided WVP training to all security personnel, only 58% offered WVP training to all human resources personnel, 57% provided training to supervisors/ managers, and 41% trained employees at large. Less than half of the companies surveyed trained these groups at least annually.
UI IPRC Associate Director Carri Casteel is a member of the working group who administered the survey.
“It is our hope that ultimately companies and their WPV teams can use the report to identify gaps in their WPV programs or advocate for such a program to begin with,” Casteel said.
According to the report, the most frequent types of investigated workplace violence were communicated threats (55%) abnormal behavior (48%) and bullying (33%).
To see a copy of the full report, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
See other UI IPRC research on workplace violence.