NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :49
NIOSH has been conducting research on workplace violence since 1988. A number of studies have been published, focusing first on workplace homicide and then expanding to include nonfatal workplace assault. NIOSH has focused on improving surveillance data, integrating information from multiple sources, and identifying risk factors and prevention strategies. A hallmark of these activities has been outreach and collaboration-bringing together government and academic researchers in both public health and criminal justice, along with labor, industry, human resources, legal, and employee assistance professionals. Violence is indeed a substantial contributor to death and injury on the job. Homicide has become the second leading cause of occupational injury death overall and is the leading cause of occupational injury death for women. Estimates of nonfatal workplace assault vary depending on the data source, but data from the National Crime Victimization Survey indicate that each year from 1992-1996, more than 2 million workers were victims of a violent crime while working or on duty. Risk factors for workplace violence include dealing with the public, the exchange of money, and the delivery of services or goods. Prevention strategies for minimizing the risk of workplace violence include (but are not limited to) cash-handling policies, physical separation of workers from customers/clients, good lighting, security devices, escort services, and employee training. A workplace violence prevention program should include a system for documenting incidents, procedures to be taken in the event of incidents, and open communication between employers and workers. Because no single prevention strategy is appropriate for all workplaces, workplace violence prevention efforts should be tailored to the risks in particular workplaces. NIOSH, along with others in the occupational safety and health community, is beginning to evaluate the effectiveness of various strategies in high-risk settings, so that intervention efforts can be most effectively targeted.
NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000