What is workplace violence? Types of workplace violence

 The topic of workplace violence keeps dominating the news headlines many times, but the cases of workplace violence that actually occurs are several more times than the cases that come in headlines. 

According to an estimate, nearly 2 million workers in USA reports that they are victim of workplace violence. Though there are authorities to take action against workplace violence, but sometimes because of lack of knowledge, or sometimes because of the fear of being fired, employees prefers to stay quiet and do not take any action. This only lead to the encouragement of the bad intensions of criminals.

But before talking deep about the workplace violence, first we should understand what is workplace violence? Workplace violence refers to the threat or the act of violence that can cause physical, mental, as well as financial loss of the employees. The workplace violence can range from the verbal abuse to the physical violence or the assault towards the employees on duty or those who are working as an employee.

The harassment and the bullying of the employees in the workplace is also categorized under workplace violence. The domestic violence that occurs in the workplace in the form of assault, violence, threats, or any other kind of action by the outside parties to the employee who works in the organization is also a type of workplace violence. The damage to the resources and the properties of the organization done by the employees out of rage is also considered as workplace violence.

Types of workplace violence

According to Occupational health researchers, workplace violence can be classified in four different types. These are:

  1. Criminal intent
  2. Customer/ client
  3. Worker on worker
  4. Personal relationship

Type 1 workplace violence - Criminal intent

In this kind of workplace violence, the perpetrator is not having any kind of relationship with the employee or the staff and is also not having any relationship with the organization or the business. They commit crime along with physical, mental, as well as the financial damage of the employee or the organization. This kind of workplace violence includes robbery in the company or any employee get robbed in the workplace, trespassing, shoplifting etc and many more.

For example, a nurse get robbed in the parking area is a type of criminal intent type 1st workplace violence. The nurse mugged up while she is conducting a home visit is also a example of type 1st workplace violence or the criminal intent workplace violence.  

Type 2 workplace violence – Customer/ client

This is common kind of workplace violence usually occurs in healthcare settings. It is quite common to hear that “on a surgery failure, patient family beat the health care workers”. This is also a kind of workplace violence.

In this kind of workplace violence, generally the customer/ client, patient, or the family members of the patient conducts the crime. The Type 2 workplace violence mostly occurs in the health care sector, emergence, psychiatric treatment settings, geriatric settings, or the waiting room. But this kind of workplace violence is not only limited to the above mentioned settings but can occur in any other organization and sectors as well.

The harassment and the bullying of the employee by the customer or the client is also considered as type 2 workplace violence.

Type 3 workplace violence  - Worker on worker

Type 3 work place violence or the worker on worker workplace violence is common in the organization here multiple staff works together. This kind of workplace violence generally includes lateral or horizontal violence.

The type 3 workplace violence can range from the harassment, bullying, verbal or the emotional abuse, to the offensive, unfair, humiliating or the vindictive activities that can cause mental as well as the physical damage of the worker or the employee.

Though horizontal worker on worker workplace violence is also common, but the most common type 3 workplace violence activities are often directed from the superior authorities to lower employees.

The harassment of nurse by doctor, or the bullying of the supervisee by the supervisor is a kind of type 3 worker on worker work place violence.

In this kind of vertical workplace violence, the victim often prefers to stay quiet because of the fear of being fired. But there are several laws for the prevention of workplace violence and also every organization have proper authorities to undertake such crimes. Thus the employee or the victim should stand voice against such activities in the workplace and de-motivate the perpetrator to repeat such crime.

Type 4 workplace violence - Personal relationship

This is a kind of domestic violence that spill over the workplace. In this kind of workplace violence, the perpetrator has relationship with the employee. They follow the employee to their office, threaten them there and cause violence. This is type 4 workplace violence.

  For example, if the perpetrator is having relationship with the nurse. They follow the nurse to the hospital, threaten her, and order her home, these all are included under type 4 workplace violence.

The personal relationship workplace violence is also applicable with type 2 and type 3 workplace violence as well. When the perpetrator is having relationship with the employee and is their client or customer as well, this is categorized under type 2 work place violence. Similarly, if the senior in an office is having personal relationship with their junior employee and they cause violence, then it will be categorized under type 3 workplace violence 

What a victim can do after getting suffered from workplace violence?

Almost, every large organization is having their workplace violence prevention authority team. The employee can directly contact to the team to take action. In the case of absence of such authority, there are several workplace violence prevention laws that can help the victim in getting justice.

The bottom line

So this was a complete guide on workplace violence, their types and what a victim can do after workplace violence.