The National Association of Safety Professionals is a non-profit membership organisation providing training, consultative services, and third-party certifications that validate knowledge, skills and abilities in the area of workplace safety. The National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) is the United States Division of the non-profit International Association of Safety Professionals (IASP).
Violence in the workplace was epidemic in America before 9/11. Each year employers report 2,000,000 assaults in the workplace (it is estimated that five assaults occur for every one reported); nearly half a million of these are seriously injured; 51,000 are reported raped or otherwise sexually assaulted (it is estimated that ten sexual assaults occur for every one reported); 1,000 are murdered, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, each day thousands of employees are harassed, intimidated, threatened, and verbally abused. Workplace homicide was already the number one killer of women in the workplace and, depending on the interpretation you prefer, number one or two for men and women combined. This, of course, was before 9/11.
Workplace violence, in many ways, “fell through the cracks” prior to 9/11 because safety professionals largely felt it was a security issue and security professionals largely felt it was a safety issue. Both groups took some halting steps toward addressing the problem but both came from very different points of view. It’s time to further blur the line between safety and security in this issue. Whether you call it “safety” or “security”, the American worker needs to feel protected from violence.
Violence in America is epidemic with over 15,500 homicides reported annually but when adjusted for estimated unreported incidents the estimate may double that. Assaults reported equal 7,560,000 but adjusted for estimated unreported incidents total 37,800,000. Burglary reports are over 2 million annually and when adjusted for estimated unreported incidents exceed 2,500,000. Sexual assaults reported are over 500,000 but when adjusted for estimated unreported incidents the total exceeds 5,000,000.
The American crime clock ticks off one murder every 23.9 minutes, one assault every .83 seconds, one burglary every 13 seconds, and one sexual assault every 6 seconds.
Violence in the American Workplace mirrors the general statistics. More Americans are murdered at work than die at work from any other cause. OSHA reports 1,000 workplace homicides per year and when adjusted for estimated incidents not reported to OSHA exceeds 1,500 per year. Assaults in the workplace are estimated by OSHA at 2 million per year with other estimates as high as 10 million per year. Sexual assaults in the workplace are estimated by OSHA at 51,000 per year with other estimates as high as 500,000 per year.
Estimates of the economic impact of workplace violence range from $70 million to $200 million annually. Workplace violence results in 1,175,100 lost work days annually, $55 million in lost wages annually, lost productivity, legal expenses, property damage, diminished public image, and increased security costs.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to define workplace violence, recognize the potential for violence in both behaviour and environment, assess risks of the workplace, effectively manage and report incidents of violence, evaluate the workplace violence prevention plans.
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