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The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.
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Every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. In 2014, 409 people were fatally injured in work-related attacks, according to the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's about 16% of the 4,821 workplace deaths that year.
While roadway incidents are the No. 1 cause of death for workers overall, violence is the third leading cause for
healthcare workers, and employees in professional and business services like education, law and media, according to
Injury Facts 2016®.
Taxi drivers, for example, are more than 20 times more likely to be murdered on the job than other workers, according to OSHA.
But make no mistake: Workplace violence can happen anywhere.
According to the
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workplace violence falls into four categories: Criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship, which overwhelmingly targets women.
Injury Facts lists data for workplace violence-related deaths, and injuries resulting in days off of work, across various occupations. Here are some statistics for 2013:
No matter who initiaties the confrontation, the deadliest situations involve an active shooter.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines active shooter as someone "actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area."
A lot can happen in the chaotic minutes before police arrive;
DHS advises staying calm and exercising one of three options: Run, hide or fight.
Managers and safety professionals at every workplace should develop a policy on violence that includes:
Some people commit violence because of revenge, robbery or ideology – with or without a component of mental illness. While there is no way to predict an attack, you can be aware of behaviors in coworkers that might signal future violence:
Most every "place" is somebody's workplace. So whether you are a patron or an employee, it's important to be alert.
Nearly 13,000 American workers are injured each day – and each injury is preventable. Take a look at these staggering numbers.
The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Donate to our cause.
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.