C:\Documents and Settings\Ted Michaels\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK160\Workplace Violence Article.doc 4/9/2008
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Workplace Violence: Training Young Workers in Preventive Strategies
By Sheila Arbury
Small business should be alert to the risk of robbery coupled with criminal assaults on
their employees. To address this danger, each business should have an established
workplace violence prevention plan and train employees in measures to prevent these
crimes and to protect their safety.
Young workers, who typically have less work experience than older employees,
particularly need training on prevention of workplace violence. This article will offer
suggestions on training these young workers, but employers can – and should - use this
training for all employees.
In 2003, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that there were 631 workplace
homicides, an increase from 609 in 2002. The leading cause of these deaths was violence
associated with robbery. Of the 631 homicides, 73 were workers under 25 years of age.
The numbers reveal the types of businesses where these young workers are killed: in
1998-2002 when there were 306 homicides of young workers, 165 occurred in retail
trade. 132 of these deaths were workers in food stores, and eating and drinking places,
two important types of small business.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidelines for
preventing workplace violence in late-night retail establishments. These guidelines are
useful not only for late-night retail, but also for other types of small business as well.
The guidelines and the information provided here are advisory in nature, informational in
content, and intended to help employers establish effective workplace violence
prevention programs adapted to their specific workplaces.
As an employer, your first consideration is to apply preventive measures in your
workplace. These preventive measures include engineering and administrative and work