It’s impossible to list each reason violence occurs in the workplace; however, some of the top reasons according to OSHA include:
Layoffs – When layoffs occur, many see favoritism as the reason and tend to seek retribution.
Criminal Backgrounds – Some new hires may have recent criminal histories that can be revealed in a background check. Avoiding these types of new hire recruitment checks may be opening a can of worms you don’t want at your office.
Poor Working Conditions – If employees feel conditions aren’t ventilated, are too small or dirty or hazardous in nature, they tend to become angry and thus violent.
Technology – Some workers avoid the entrance of new technology and become frustrated if not trained properly. Training is key in making the frustrated more confident in what’s new and available to them in order to help improve their career path.
Economics – Financial times are good and then they are bad, and when they’re poor, personal financial concerns can evolve in the workplace, causing violent outbreaks.
Wages – Companies in hiring freezes that once offered even cost of living raises are finding themselves dealing with angry employees. When inflation rises and wages don’t, employees have a hard time making ends meet.
Psychological – Here, employers are finding those with lifetime emotional issues often are among the causes of workplace violence and more companies are offering employee counseling services as part of their benefit plan to aid these employees.
Under-Staffed Worksites – Those who work alone or find themselves in evening situations with no one else around can become emotionally distressed and end up on the path of violence. More employers need to look at job descriptions and insert additional help where needed, even if it’s only for workplace camaraderie. Understaffed offices also cause a person's inability to meet goals everyday, which can turn into frustration and anger.
Safety – Businesses that avoid OSHA-approved safety manuals and don’t offer up safety committees to ensure everyone’s safe on the job site can also turn into anger, especially if employees are not trained in safety and do become injured.
Outside Influences – Often employees (especially in banks and retail establishments) find themselves victims of outside violence coming into the workplace such as thieves or rapists, and business owners are not implementing ways to deter those intruders as prudently as they should.