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Workplace violence caused 17 percent of fatal work injuries

Workplace accidents happen all the time in New Hampshire and across the United States. There are many different types of accidents that happen at work that cause serious injuries and fatalities. However, one type of worksite injury may be overlooked by many companies and workers. 

Workplace violence continues to cause many fatalities in the U.S. Workplace violence is a much bigger safety issue than many employers and workers realize. In 2011, almost 17 percent of workplace fatalities were caused by workplace violence, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Statistics show that 780 of the 4,609 fatal workplace injuries that happened in 2011 were a result of workplace violence. Fatal workplace violence incidents can come in many shapes but are classified as either a homicide or a suicide. In 2011, 458 fatal work injuries were homicides and 242 were suicides. 

Both male and female workers are harmed by workplace violence. However, males are much more likely to be victims of workplace violence. Reports show that 680 males were killed due to workplace violence in 2011 compared to 100 women in the U.S. Homicides are the more common cause of fatal workplace injuries caused by violence for both men and women.

However, female workers are more likely to be killed by a relative, with two of every five workplace homicides involving females involving a relative. Relatives are less likely to be involved in fatal workplace violence injuries harming males, with only two percent of fatal incidents at work being caused by relatives. 

While both males and females are at risk for being killed by workplace violence, reports show that certain industries have a higher rate of workplace violence than other industries. The industries with the highest rates of workplace homicides are sales and retail, law enforcement and correction facilities, business management and protective services. 

The number of workers killed by workplace violence in the U.S. is disturbing and needs to be addressed by companies to prevent fatal injuries in the future. Workers should try to be aware of the hazards they face at work, including workplace violence. Workers who feel threatened or unsafe at work should report their concerns to their supervisor. Workers can also report any concerns to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

Source: Employer Brief, "Workplace Violence Blamed for Nearly 17% of U.S. Work Injuries," Oct. 4, 2013

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