Written by Emma J. Hodson, Esq. of The Van Winkle Law Firm
The best defense against workplace violence is a strong offense.
August 20, 2017, marked the 30th anniversary of the first nationally publicized incident of workplace violence, the shootings in a post office in Edmonton, Oklahoma. Following the Edmonton incident, the phrase “going postal” became a pejorative moniker for workplace violence.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) defines workplace violence broadly as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening or disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site… rang[ing] from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide.”
In 2015 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that out of 4,836 fatal workplace injuries in the United States, only 417 were caused by homicide. Although workplace violence incidents that result in death remain relatively rare, nearly two million Americans report being victims of workplace violence each year.
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