Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 11th 2013 Contents B18
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 11, 2013
A very real, clear and present danger lurks just
beyond the consciousness of people who work together
eight to ten hours a day, five to seven days a week.
It is the potential for violence to occur in your work-
Increasingly, the Human Resources function is
both the target of these threats of workplace violence
and the organization s first line of defense for the
prevention of workplace violence.
What causes workplace violence? Are violent
actions more likely to occur at work? What actions
or changes tell an organisation that an individual has
the potential to commit a violent act at work? This
article about workplace violence answers these ques-
tions for the health and safety of your employees.
Homicide is the second leading cause of fatal occu-
pational injury in the United States. Nearly 1,000
workers are murdered and 1.5 million are assaulted
in the workplace each year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI),
in additional information about workplace violence,
there were 709 workplace homicides in 1998. These
accounted for 12 percent of the total 6,026 fatal work
injuries in the United States. Of these 709 workplace
homicide victims in 1998, 80 percent were shot and
nine percent were stabbed.
According to the National Crime Victimization
Survey (NCVS), 2 million assaults and threats of vio-
lence against Americans at work occur annually. The
most common type of workplace crime was assault
with an average of 1.5 million a year.
There were 396,000 aggravated assaults, 51,000
rapes and sexual assaults, 84,000 robberies, and
1,000 homicides reported. These figures likely fall
short of the actual number of violent acts occurring
in workplaces as not all acts of workplace violence
Workplaces prone to workplace violence
The news media tend to sensationalise acts of
workplace violence that involve coworkers. In sen-
sationalising incidents of workplace violence, they
remove the emphasis from the most important targets
for workplace safety programs. In fact, the most
common motive for job-related homicide is robbery,
accounting for 85 percent of workplace violence
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health (NIOSH), provides information that illustrates
anyone can become the victim of a work-
place assault, but the risks are greater for
workplace violence in certain industries and
occupations. The taxicab industry has the
highest risk, nearly 60 times the national
average for potential workplace violence.
Other occupations at greatest risk include
police, detectives, sheriffs, gas station work-
ers, and security guards. In the NCVS study,
retail sales workers were the most numerous
victims, with 330,000 being attacked each
They were followed by police, with
234,200 officers victimised. Disputes among
coworkers and with customers and clients
accounted for about one-tenth of the total
incidences of workplace violence annual-
ly.Thus, while this article emphasises vio-
lence between coworkers, no responsible
safety process in the workplace can ignore
the fact that violence is more likely to come
from outside the immediate workplace.
Larry Porte, a former Secret Service agent
and the former Manager of the Threat
Response and Asset Protection Division of
Kerby Bailey and Associates, says that work-
place violence is a process that does not
occur in a vacuum. "Violence is the product
of an interaction among three factors:
• the individual who takes violent action;
• the stimulus or triggering conditions
that lead the person to see violence as a
way out ; and
• a setting that facilitates or permits the
violence, a setting in which there is a lack
Continued on Page B19
Workplace violence examined
• Marketing of materials such as quartz,
granite and marble.
• Participate in product and promotional events.
• Work with sales support to manage and
deliver customer expectations.
• Several years of sales experience
(knowledge of the stone industry would
be an asset).
• Computer literacy
(AutoCAD would be an asset).
•Capable of building customer relations
including identifying needs, creating
solutions and recommendations.
•Exceptional presentation and
•Organizational and project coordination skills.
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