Research: Workplace violence rates trend downward

Despite numerous attention-grabbing headlines, incidents of workplace violence, including homicides and assaults, have actually been trending downward in the U.S. since the early 1990s, according to new research from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

Using data primarily from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the "Violence in the Workplace" report found that between 1993 and 2009, workplace homicides fell 59 percent. During that same time period, workplace assaults in the private industry were also found to have dropped by 37 percent.

While there has been a sharp decrease in workplace violence as a whole, the report also found that the number of workplace homicides committed by customers have actually risen in recent years. From 2003 to 2009, the share of homicides attributed to "interactions with customers increased from five percent to 12 percent and then fell back to nine percent."

Rates for workplace homicides committed by coworkers has actually held steady, fluctuating between 10 and 14 percent between 2003 and 2009.

Among some of the report's other findings include:

  • Homicides account for 11 percent of all workplace fatalities in the private industry.
  • Homicides due to robberies and other criminal acts account for the majority (69 percent) of workplace fatalities.
  • Workplace assaults account for less than two percent of all injuries.

Click here to read the full report.