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Violence in the Workplace - Essay Example

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In 2008, Roy observed that workplace violence was assuming great importance for modern businesses. Quoting the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, he observes that on an average working day, 3 people are murdered on the job, 1000000 workers are assaulted and more than 1,000 are murdered every year in the U.S. According to the Labor Department, killing at the work place is the second major contributor to death on the job after road accidents. Statistics show that 111,000 incidents of work-place violence cost employers and others an estimated 6.2 million in 1992.
With the issue of violence at the workplace gaining higher attention, many state bodies are coming together to combat this social threat. The 9/11 attacks gave a completely new perspective to violence at the workplace. The incident made the world wake up to the fact that a threat need not be limited to workers only, but could also be in the form of terrorists attacks from outside the workplace. The FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violence Crime (NCAVC), Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG), coordinated with a select group of experts from law enforcement, private industry, government, law, labor, professional organizations, victim services, the military, academia, mental health, and CIRG's Crisis Negotiations Unit in 2004 and discussed the problem at length. "Workplace Violence: Issues in Response," a document detailing the duties of an employer, employee, the role of the state has been the written outcome of this effort.
While there are no written rules about hiring or verifying the credentials of a prospective employee, the agencies have advised employers to exert utmost care in recruiting new people. Also, while businesses are bound by law to safeguard the employees' welfare and security under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, they can in no way guarantee complete safety for the employees from external threats. They can at most ensure that the workplace is "free from recognized hazards " in accordance with the "General Duty Clause." . To properly implement the civil rights requiring employers to protect employees from various forms of violence, it becomes essential fro the employers to pay extra attention to each employee's activities within and outside of the workplace. However, keeping a tab on such activities might lead to issues of privacy, defamation and discrimination against some employees. Not only while hiring, but also while firing employees, organizations have to be very careful that the disgruntled employee doesn't become a threat to the company. As discussed in the paper, sometimes laws meant to protect an employee's rights become an obstacle in ensuring the employer's rights. The American Disabilities Act might prove a hurdle for an employer if the concerned person shows signs of being a threat to the company, but is not ready for counseling.

Thus, while we can safely conclude that instances of violence at the workplace are increasing at a rapid rate, organizations have to be prepared for any kind of emergency. While hiring new people, they should also keep in mind the past records of the employee and take hints ...Show more
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Summary

A workplace is often viewed with reverence: it is supposed to be a place where people fulfill their aspirations, earn loads of moolah and create a social standing for themselves in society. These thoughts might soon be a thing of the past. With changing lifestyles, penetration of TV and internet and sensationalization of news by media channels, violence has become a way of life; even in the least expected areas of life…
Violence in the Workplace
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