30 Startling Workplace Violence Statistics [2022]: Statistics On Workplace Violence In The US

By Elsie Boskamp
Oct. 20, 2022
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Research Summary. Workplace violence continues to be a pressing issue that companies from all sectors grapple with across the United States. Today, millions of people fall victim to workplace violence each and every year. In an effort to understand the complexities and intricacies of workplace violence in the U.S., our data analysis team concluded:

  • In the United States, there are roughly 2 million victims of workplace violence each year.

  • The healthcare and social assistance industries have an 8.2% workplace violence incident rate.

  • Workplace violence deaths rates for men are roughly 75% higher than those for females.

  • Workplace violence causes American businesses to lose, on average, $250 to $330 billion every year.

  • 85% of workplace violence deaths are due to robbery.

  • Workplace assaults resulted in 20,050 injuries and 392 fatalities in 2020 alone.

For further analysis, we broke down the data in the following ways:
Assault and Fatality | Demographics | Industry | Corporate Policies | Cost | Other
Healthcare and social assistance industries have an 8.2% workplace violence incident rate

General Workplace Violence Statistics

  • 68% of workers across the world do not feel safe at work.

    The overwhelming majority of international workers are not satisfied with workplace health and safety protections. A recent survey of 2,000 workers who typically work in buildings with 500 or more employees revealed that 68% of workers do not feel safe at their workplace.

    When compared to on-site employees, remote workers feel even more unsafe in traditional work environments. In fact, 75% of remote employees are skeptical about workplace safety, and as much as 23% of them would look for a new job if they were required to return to a traditional job site.

  • 94% of American workers have been bullied at least once in the workplace.

    A 2019 survey found that approximately 94% of U.S. workers have been bullied at work, up from 75% in 2008. Of the 94% of employees who claimed to have been bullied at work, 51.1% of them said the bullying was done by a boss or manager.

    Additionally, 23.3% of respondents said they were bullied with aggressive email tones, 20.2% of respondents said they were bullied through negative gossip by coworkers, and 17.8% of respondents said they felt bullied after being yelled at.

  • About half of all human resources professionals say that their business has experienced at least one workplace violence incident.

    As many as 48% of human resources professionals in the U.S. claim that their organizations have, at some point, experienced workplace violence, according to a 2019 survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management. This number is up from 36% in 2012 — a 12% increase over seven years.

Workplace Violence Assault and Fatality Statistics

  • As of 2019, there were 454 fatal workplace violence incidents a year in the United States.

    Of the over 450 fatal workplace violence incidents in 2019, the majority were caused by assaults and robberies. As such, workplace violence fatalities accounted for 9% of all deadly work injuries in 2019.

  • Nearly 400,000 aggravated assaults occur in the workplace each year.

    Assaults and threats of physical violence make up a large portion of the total workplace violence incidents recorded in the United States each year. Approximately 396,000 assaults occur in workplaces across the nation every year.

    Meanwhile, roughly 51,000 rapes and sexual assaults happen in U.S. workplaces annually, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey.

  • Robbery accounts for 85% of workplace violence deaths in the United States.

    Approximately 84,000 robberies happen at workplaces across the nation every year, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. While most Americans believe that assaults are the most deadly form of workplace violence, experts say that robberies actually account for roughly 85% of all workplace violence deaths.

    Therefore, it can be estimated that of the 454 fatal workplace violence incidents reported in 2019, roughly 385 happened as a result of a robbery.

  • Workplace violence accounts for less than 10% of fatal work injuries.

    In 2019, workplace violence accounted for 9% of all fatal work injuries in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workplace fatalities rose by 2% in 2019, totaling 5,333, or roughly 3.5 fatalities per every 100,000 full-time employees.

Workplace Violence by Demographics

  • Workplace violence deaths are commonly caused by roadway incidents for both men and women across the United States.

    According to reports, roadway incidents cause 24% of all fatal workplace violence incidents involving men and 20% of all fatal workplace violence incidents involving women.

    Homicides are the next leading cause of workplace violence fatalities for women, accounting for 19% of female workplace violence fatalities. Meanwhile, the second leading cause of workplace violence death for men is falls, slips, and trips, which accounts for 17% of on-the-job fatalities involving workplace violence.

  • Employees between the age of 20 and 34 are most likely to be victims of workplace violence.

    Approximately 16 out of 1,000 employees ages 20 to 34 are victims of workplace violence. The annual rate of workplace victimization, out of 1,000 employees, is 11.5 for workers aged 12 to 19, 12.3 for workers aged 35 to 49, 7.8 for workers aged 50 to 64, and 3.9 for workers 65 years old and older.

  • The large majority of workplace violence fatalities are men.

    Of the 454 workplace violence deaths recorded in 2019, 366 were male, and 88 were female. As such, the workplace violence fatality rate for men is roughly 80%, while the workplace fatality rate for women is about 19.4%.

  • When broken down by race, White workers are more often involved in workplace violence incidents.

    Out of 1,000 employees, roughly 13 White employees and 10.4 Black employees are involved in a workplace violence incident every year. Meanwhile, about 12.7 non-Hispanic workers and 9.7 Hispanic workers, out of every 1,000 working people, are involved in annual workplace violence incidents in the United States.

Workplace Violence by Industry

  • Occupations that exchange money or directly interact with the public are generally the most at risk when it comes to workplace violence.

    Employees who work as healthcare professionals, delivery drivers, public service personnel, customer service agents, and law enforcement are most at risk of experiencing workplace violence, according to the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    Healthcare and social assistance workers have an 8.2% overall workplace violence incident rate, with much higher incident rates recorded in psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, residential mental and health care facilities, vocational rehabilitation service centers, and nursing facilities.

    Overall, all other private industry occupations have an average workplace violence incident rate of just 1.7%.

  • The healthcare and social service industries generally have the most workplace violence victims.

    Data shows that 69% of physical workplace violence assaults and 71% of non-physical workplace violence assaults are reported in the healthcare and social service industries. These numbers are largely due to employees’ close interactions with the public, limited staffing, and little workplace protection.

    Due to the high number of incidents, workplace violence remains a primary concern for roughly 15 million healthcare workers in the United States, according to a study by the Government of Accountability Office.

  • Violence against healthcare workers is 12 times higher than the rest of the U.S. workforce.

    Overall, 75% of all workplace violence incidents that happen each year in the United States involve healthcare professionals.

  • 25% of nurses in emergency care have experienced physical violence at work.

    A recent study revealed that as many as one in four nurses are physically assaulted on the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hospitals are one of the most dangerous workplaces in the United States. Hospitals alone recorded more than 221,000 work-related injuries in 2019, according to OSHA.

Corporate Policies on Workplace Violence Statistics

  • 55% of employees claim that they are unaware or unsure of employers’ emergency preparedness plans.

    Only 45% of American employees are aware of a workplace violence prevention program at their company. As such, the majority of workers are in the dark when it comes to preparedness plans and workplace violence policies.

    As many as 31% of employees say they are not aware of any such programs and 24% of workers say they are unsure if such programs exist at their places of work.

  • More than half of U.S. workers agree that their company management does not take adequate steps to keep them safe at work.

    A survey found that 54% of workers think that their workplace managers have not taken the appropriate steps to keep them safe on the job.

    Meanwhile, 42% think that their building management won’t consistently enforce health and safety guidelines, and 30% think that their managers will not consistently invest in technology designed to make working in person safer following the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Nearly 80% of companies are unprepared for an active shooter.

    Although 62% of companies view an active shooter as a top threat, as many as 79% of businesses report feeling unprepared for an active shooter, meanwhile, 61% of these companies do not run any proactive active shooter preparedness drills or training for their employees.

  • 55% of human resources professionals do not know if their organization has a workplace violence prevention program.

    More than half of all HR professionals in the U.S. do not know if their company has an adequate workplace violence prevention program, and as much as 19% are unsure what to do when they witness or are directly involved in a workplace violence incident.

  • An estimated 25% of workplace violence incidents go unreported by businesses.

    The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed that roughly one-fourth of workplace violence incidents are never formally reported by American employers.

    Moreover, as much as 90% of organizations do not comply with federal OSHA recordkeeping and reporting regulations, according to a study by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Cost of Workplace Violence

  • The average out-of-court settlement for one workplace violence incident is approximately $500,000.

    Across the nation, typical workplace violence incidents settle out of court for about half a million dollars. Meanwhile, the usually jury award settlement for workplace violence cases is as much as $3 million.

  • Workplace violence results in hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue for American businesses every year.

    Workplace violence causes American businesses to lose, on average, $250 to $330 billion every year, according to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. Moreover, since an increasing number of workplace violence incidents go unreported each year, this number could be much higher in actuality.

    In the case of workplace violence, lost revenue is a direct result of decreased productivity due to illness and injuries, employee turnover, lawsuit fees, employee absences, and a loss of customers due to a damaged business reputation.

Other Workplace Violence Statistics

  • States with larger working populations are more prone to workplace violence incidents.

    To date, California, Texas, Florida, and New York have the highest rates of workplace violence, according to recent labor reports.

  • Roughly 350 people are shot and killed every year while at work.

    According to 2017 data, 351 people were intentionally shot and killed while at their place of employment. Meanwhile, one year prior, in 2016, there were 394 workplace shooting deaths in the United States.

Workplace Violence FAQ

  1. Which occupation has the highest rate of workplace violence?

    Occupations within the healthcare and social service industries experience the highest rates of workplace violence in the US.

    Workers in these industries have an 8.2% overall workplace violence incident rate, accounting for roughly 69% of all physical workplace violence assaults and 71% of all non-physical workplace violence assaults across the country. This represents a workplace violence incident rate that is 12 times higher than the national average.

    Nurses working in emergency care, in particular, are especially prone to workplace violence, as 25% of them have experienced some sort of physical violence at work at least once in their career.

    In addition to these shocking statistics, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also named hospitals one of the most dangerous workplaces in the country.

  2. Is violence in the workplace increasing?

    Violence in the workplace has increased in recent years. Although experts estimate that as many as 25% of workplace violence incidents go unreported, the United States still continues to report an average of 2 million incidents each and every year. Meanwhile, workplace violence incidents that result in deadly shootings have increased.

    According to 2017 data, 351 people were intentionally shot and killed while at their place of employment. Meanwhile, one year prior, in 2016, there were 394 workplace shooting deaths in the United States.

  3. What is the most common cause of workplace violence?

    Robbery is the most common cause of workplace violence. In the United States, robberies account for as many as 85% of workplace violence deaths. Other common causes of workplace violence across the nation include aggravated assaults, roadway incidents, homicides and falls, slips, and trips.

  4. Who is the most common perpetrator of workplace violence?

    Customers and clients are the most common perpetrators of workplace violence. According to experts, this group can include a wide range of individuals, including current and former clients, patients, customers, passengers, criminal suspects, and more.

    Additionally, personal acquaintances and intimate partners are also common perpetrators of workplace violence, especially in cases of assaults and sexual assaults.

  5. What percentage of workplace violence incidents are not reported?

    Approximently 25% of workplace violence incidents go unreported. Unfortunately, at least a fourth of victims choose to opt out of the reporting process. This can be for many reasons, but the most common include a lack of trust in their company to handle the situation properly, or even a fear of being fired for their actions.

Conclusion

While workplace violence continues to be a top concern for many businesses across the country, the majority of American employees still report feeling unsafe at work. Although workplace violence incident rates and fatality rates have increased in recent years, much work is still needed to combat this growing issue.

Today, healthcare professionals, especially hospital personnel and nurses working in emergency care facilities, are most at risk of workplace violence.

Generally speaking, occupations that commonly interact with the public or exchange money have the highest levels of workplace violence, according to career experts. That violence can come in the form of bullying, assault, sexual assault, robbery, and much more.

According to statistics, workplace violence touches millions of people every year, affecting businesses across every sector and industry. U.S. businesses face lost revenue and reputation damages, as well as employee loss and turnover, due to instances of workplace violence. Although efforts are being made to combat workplace violence in the United States, the road ahead could be a long one.

References

  1. Society for Human Resource Management. “Understanding Workplace Violence Prevention and Response.” Accessed on December 15, 2021.

  2. Forbes. “New Study Says Workplace Bullying On Rise: What You Can Do During National Bullying Prevention Month.” Accessed on December 15, 2021.

  3. International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation. “Mitigating the Risk of Workplace Violence in Health Care Settings.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  4. United States Department of Labor. “Workplace Violence.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  5. United States Bureau of Justice Statistics. “National Crime Victimization Survey.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  6. Forbes. “Healthcare Remains America’s Most Dangerous Profession Due To Workplace Violence.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  7. Honeywell. “Honeywell Survey Reveals 68% Of Surveyed Workers Do Not Feel Completely Safe In Their Buildings.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  8. Society for Human Resource Management. “Workplace Violence: A Growing Threat, Or Growing in Awareness?” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  9. Society for Human Resource Management. “Survey: Half of HR Pro’s Workplaces Experienced Violence.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  10. Denverite. “Homicide is a Leading Cause of Workplace Death for Women.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  11. Business Insider. “Nurses Say Patients Are Getting More Abusive, and Simple Questions Can Set Them Off.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  12. Marketplace. “Is Your Office Prepared for a Workplace Shooting?” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  13. Alert Find. “Workplace Violence Statistics 2018: A Growing Problem.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  14. United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Homicides and Other Workplace Assaults by Gender in 2019.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  15. United States Bureau of Justice Statistics. “Special Report: Violence In The Workplace.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

  16. Rave Mobile Safety. “The Latest on Workplace Violence Statistics.” Accessed on December 16, 2021.

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Author

Elsie Boskamp

Elsie is an experienced writer, reporter, and content creator. As a leader in her field, Elsie is best known for her work as a Reporter for The Southampton Press, but she can also be credited with contributions to Long Island Pulse Magazine and Hamptons Online. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Stony Brook University and currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee.

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