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NIOSH Update:

Data From Survey for NIOSH on Workplace Violence Reported by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
October 27, 2006

Nearly 5 percent of the 7.1 million private industry business establishments in the United States had an incident of workplace violence within the 12 months prior to completing a new survey on workplace violence prevention, according to findings from the new survey, which was conducted for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The data were reported by BLS today.

Under an interagency agreement with NIOSH, BLS surveyed employers regarding their policies and training on workplace violence prevention. Very little information previously existed regarding the policies, training, and other related issues from the employer perspective. Most workplace violence studies were from the employee’s or victim’s viewpoint.

“We appreciate the excellent work of BLS in conducting the survey with its widely respected methodology, analyzing the results, and providing new data to fill a significant gap in the existing literature,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “These new data will help us greatly in planning and conducting our ongoing research to help prevent violence in workplaces.”

Of the establishments that reported an incident of workplace violence within the 12 months prior to completing the survey, about a third reported that the incident had a negative impact on their workforce. The great majority of those establishments did not change their workplace violence prevention procedures after the incident, BLS found. Almost 9 percent of those establishments had no program or policy addressing workplace violence.

Findings from the survey are reported in detail on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/iif/osh_wpvs.htm. BLS said it plans to provide additional tables and charts on this site in the future.

This voluntary survey provides estimates of the number of establishments and employees covered by a workplace violence prevention program or policy. The survey also collected data on the characteristics of the program or policy at the establishment; types of training on workplace violence and topics covered; whether an incident of workplace violence had occurred in the last 12 months; and whether establishments collect the costs associated with workplace violence. The survey was designed to allow characterization of how the issue of workplace violence is addressed in U.S. workplaces and to provide researchers with information to develop educational interventions to improve workplace safety.

NIOSH conducts a robust research program for better understanding the risk factors for homicide and assault in the workplace, and recommending effective preventive measures to reduce those risks. Further information about NIOSH’s research and recommendations can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/injury/traumaviolence.html. For additional information about NIOSH, call toll-free 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) or visit www.cdc.gov/niosh.

 

 
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