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The Results Are In

icon Blog on Department Management/ Organization/Surveys, Workplace Violence  •  posted 11/20/12
More than 300 corporate security executives participated in the 2013 Workplace Violence Survey, providing our industry with the most current benchmark data available on workplace violence programs and incident trends. (The survey also examined work and societal factors that are contributing to the risk of violence and organizational issues that are blocking progress in risk mitigation.)
A very broad look at the data suggests that America’s workplaces are at risk of giving back gains made against workplace violence. The 2013 Workplace Violence Survey found that—in several categories of violence—10 times as many organizations are experiencing an increase in violence as are experiencing a decline.
To more plainly understand the significance of the current risk trend, consider the following list of types of workplace violence for which more companies reported an increase than reported a decrease over the last 12 months:
  • Harassment, verbal threats, and abuse between coworkers; 
  • Physical violence between coworkers; 
  • Employee violations of workplace violence policies; 
  • Physical violence directed at employees by external parties; 
  • Verbal abuse/harassment directed at employees by external parties; and 
  • Intimate partner violence affecting the workplace. 
In comparison, consider the types of workplace violence in which more companies reported a decrease than reported an increase: None. 
Consider data in one of the most worrisome categories of workplace violence: Physical violence directed at employees by external parties, including robbery. Examples include a security officer who is assaulted while confronting a gang of trespassers; a female worker who is sexually attacked in the company parking lot while heading to her car; and a retail associate who is attacked after confronting a suspected shoplifter. 
According to the 307 security executives surveyed, a whopping 49.7 percent said this type of violence is on the rise at their organizations. Only 4.9 percent said this type of violence decreased over the last 12 months. 
Complete results from the 2013 Workplace Violence Survey are included in a new comprehensive sourcebook from IOFM Research: Master Guide to Workplace Violence: Threats, Prevention, Policies & Best Practices. IOFM’s Master Guide is designed to help organizations adapt to recent changes in the law; implement new tools, strategies, and knowledge; and incorporate lessons learned to strengthen existing violence prevention efforts. The report also details the full range of fundamental elements that a violence prevention program must build on to be a living, breathing part of the organization—one that ensures ongoing commitment and continuous improvement.

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