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The Consequences of Workplace Violence and How to Avoid It

By: Maurice Draine

There’s a difference between not liking your job and feeling like you aren’t safe in your workplace. While we all have to deal with some things we don’t like about our jobs or the people we work with, violence in the workplace is a culture that often isn’t dealt with until it’s too late. Too often, cultures of violence are encouraged in certain workplaces; it is seen as the way things are, unable to be changed. People put up with bad behavior because they are expected to tough it out and deal with it to keep their jobs. Those in positions to change the workplace culture often choose to ignore the violent culture and even profit from bullying and other predatory behavior.

Physical violence at work can lead to trauma, injuries, and even fatalities. Violence in the workplace can have long-lasting personal implications as well as financial implications for a business.

The financial impacts of workplace violence can include:

  • Medical care. Survivors of violence in the workplace or even those who witnessed the incident may find it difficult to regain their feelings of safety and security. Providing incident care is in the best interest of a company that has experienced violence.
  • Temporary business closure. A workplace may need to be closed down in the wake of a violent incident, and a business will experience a loss of productivity and profits as a result.
  • Lost revenue. In a workplace incident, a business may lose profits as well as employees.
  • Insurance premium increase. If medical care is needed for staff, health insurance rates may go up.
  • Increase in workers’ compensation premiums. How big the business is, what industry it’s in, and a company’s claims history can all influence workers’ comp rates. Violence can raise incident rates.
  • Litigation costs. Employees can sue a company after a violent incident, costing a business money in legal fees and settlements.
  • Employee turnover. Employee turnover spikes up to 10% after a violent incident.

Of course, there are other ramifications of workplace violence that aren’t strictly financial. Workplace violence can cause deeply negative publicity for a company and have an impact on shareholder value. The culture of violence before a real incident can result in disengaged employees who are less productive, more likely to call in sick to work, and who have a higher turnover rate than employees who feel content and safe at work.

In the end, prevention is the best form of protection against workplace violence. If you would like to update your blog with insurance-related content such as this, please contact us