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276Major Topics■Occupational Safety and Workplace Violence: The Relationship■Workplace Violence: Definitions■Workplace Violence: Cases■Size of the Problem■Legal Considerations■Risk-Reduction Strategies■Contributing Social and Cultural Factors■OSHA’s Voluntary Guidelines■Conflict Resolution and Workplace Violence■Do’s and Don’ts for Supervisors■Emergency Preparedness PlanAmerica has been hard at work in the past 10 days and here is what happened: A Federal Ex-press pilot took a claw hammer and attacked three others in the cockpit, forcing one of them toput the fully loaded DC-10 cargo plane through a series of violent rolls and nosedives in a meleethat brought the whole crew back bleeding. A purchasing manager in suburban Chicago stabbedhis boss to death because, police say, they couldn’t agree on how to handle some paperwork.And a technician who quit because he had trouble working for a woman sneaked back inside thefiber optics laboratory, pulled out a 9-mil semiautomatic pistol and started firing at workers,who ducked or fled and curled up in closets and file cabinets. By the time he finished the job,two were dead, two were injured; he walked upstairs to an office and shot himself in the head.1Workplace violencehas emerged as a critical safety and health issue. According to theBureau of Labor Statistics, homicide is the second leading cause of death to Americanworkers, “accounting for 16 percent of the 6,588 fatal work injuries in the United States.”2Although more than 80 percent of workplace homicide victims are men, workplace vio-lence is not just a male problem. In fact, workplace homicide is the leading cause of deathon the job for women in the United States.Almost 1 million people are injured or killed in workplace-violence incidents every yearin the United States, and the number of incidents is on the rise. In fact, according to the U.S.Department of Justice, the workplace is the most dangerous place to be in the United States.3Clearly, workplace violence is an issue of concern to safety and health professionals.13VIOLENCE IN THEWORKPLACEC H A P T E ROCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: THE RELATIONSHIPThe prevention of workplace violence is a natural extension of the responsibilities ofsafety and health professionals. Hazard analysis, records analysis and tracking, trendmonitoring, incident analysis, and prevention strategies based on administrative and
Violence in the Workplace277engineering controls are all fundamental to both concepts. In addition, emergency re-sponse and employeetraining are key elements of both. Consequently, occupationalsafety and health professionals are well suited to add the prevention of workplace vio-lence to their normal duties.