Lesson 1: Topic 8 of 9
The financial costs associated with both fatal and non-fatal violence at work are enormous – between $250-330 billion annually calculated across all U.S. industries. It’s easy to understand why the figure is so high. Injured staff need medical care, which also affects premiums. Staff ― even ones who were not involved ― may become frightened or demoralized and quit. Productivity may drop and absenteeism climb. The facility may need repair, cleaning/remodeling, and/or may have to be temporarily or permanently shuttered. The establishment’s reputation in the community may suffer.
Finally, there’s the threat of potential litigation from workers, vendors, customers, or their survivors. Yes, you may be held responsible for violent occurrences at the jobsite. You can be accused of negligence (allegations that you knew the assault was likely but took no steps to prevent it) or even intent (such as claims that you “sicced” one employee on another). Remember, even if false, these accusations can land you in court.
Court delays and fees – even if the accused is found innocent – can destroy finances. Far greater than the monetary cost is the human toll. Death is the most obvious and most severe expression of workplace violence, of course, and garners the most media attention. But loss of life is not the only result of violence.
Non-fatal violent incidents at work, which happen far more frequently, damage employees’ mental and emotional health. Anxiety, burnout, depression, PTSD, turnover, reduced performance, and poor self-esteem are just some of the problems employees can struggle with if they become victims.