The National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. has released its 2011 Workplace Violence Fact Sheet.  The fact sheetis a repository of information, statistics and charts on workplace violence presented to give Human Resources, Security, Risk Management and Operational Managers the most current information on workplace violence. The National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. has been at the forefront of reporting information about workplace violence prevention for more than ten years and businesses rely on it to provide thorough, timely and accurate information on workplace violence. This is its second fact sheet on workplace violence.

W. Barry Nixon, Founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. stated “ We thought the time was right to release our second fact sheet on workplace violence because we see so much stale and misinformation reported in the media and by so called experts. Knowledge and information are the fuel that drive effective decision making and it is our intent to provide organizations of all types with a reliable source for valuable information.” 

Preventing workplace violence is a responsibility that the majority of Human Resource professionals share with Security.  Security Director News conducted an unofficial survey asking their readers what risks they were most concerned about and nearly half (49 percent) responded that workplace violence topped the list.

With data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Justice, National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH), NCCI Research and more, the fact sheet provides a detailed look at violence in the American workplace through statistics, charts and legal issues associated with workplace violence.


Key findings include:

  • Workplace homicides from assaults and other violent acts are the third leading cause of death for people while working.

  • Most heavily impacted industries are convenient sales, law enforcement/security, education, health care, & transportation.

  • Throughout the first 10 years of the 21st century, an average 590 work-related homicides occurred each year in the U.S.

  • Most often occur in nursing homes, social services, hospitals and late night convenient stores

  • Non-fatal assaults alone result in more than 876,000 lost workdays and $16 million in lost wages

  • Subsequent costs could include lost productivity, counseling, contract/sales losses, cleaning and refurbishing, increased insurance & worker compensation costs, increase health care cost, damaged reputation, increased retention, lawsuits and settlements, and more.

 According to Nixon, reacting to a serious incident of workplace violence is actually 100 times more expensive than taking measures to prevent the incident from occurring in the first place. However, avoiding overwhelming financial consequences is not the only reason to take steps toward prevention. 

If an incident occurs and the employer failed to conduct proper pre-employment screening on the aggressor, the employer could find themselves in the middle of a negligent hiring lawsuit of which employers lose 60% of the time, Nixon says. Also with average settlements around $1.6 million (and some with verdicts as high as $40 million), negligent hiring lawsuits may be avoided by implementing a comprehensive background screening program, he notes.