The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (OSH Act) General Duty Clause requires an employer to create a place of employment “free from recognized hazards” including workplace violence. Employers are required to take steps to minimize known risks of violence, and a failure to address hazards could result in the finding of a violation of the OSH Act.
Why “Violence” Matters:
- One-sixth of violent crimes occur in the workplace. There are over 1.5 million incidents a year.
- Violence is the second leading cause of workplace deaths. Three workers die each day. Guns are involved in 80 percent of deaths.
- As many as 18,000 people are assaulted at work each week.
- Violence costs American industry millions in lost productivity, legal fees, and other related expenses every year.
- And, certain types of jobs pose a higher risk for violence, including those where employees handle cash, work alone, work late-night or early morning hours, work in high-crime areas, guard valuables, or work in community settings.
- Workplace violence can take many forms and has numerous causes.
- Keep alert to signs of potential violence, and take immediate action when you recognize them.
- And, make sure to follow security procedures and encourage employees to do likewise.