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Workplace Violence and the US Labor Policy


Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other dangerous behavior against an employee. The manifestation of violence can range from threats and verbal insults to physical attacks and even murders. Unfortunately, even in the modern era, violence in the workplace is a common phenomenon that needs close attention. This work is devoted to an article on workplace violence and an analysis of the US Department of Labor’s policy on workplace violence.

General Information

Violence in the workplace usually occurs in certain professional conditions, such as taxi drivers, medical workers, couriers to deliver food and goods, security and law enforcement officers. According to world statistics, the risk of becoming a victim of violence in the workplace is higher for women than for men (Mento et al., 2020). Most of the women who have been victims of workplace attacks have been subjected to aggression from acquaintances. There are also frequent cases of domestic violence that extend to workplaces. Several factors affect the increase in the likelihood of violence in the workplace. Such factors include cash in the workplace, working with unstable people, working in places where alcohol is served.

In addition, the time of day and place of work, for example, working late at night and working alone, are also factors that should be taken into account when conducting a risk assessment of violence. The reason for the escalation of this risk is usually:

  • alcoholic or other intoxication of the aggressor;
  • irritation with the quality of services received;
  • intentional desire to commit illegal actions (Mento et al., 2020).

Aggravated assaults, usually carried out with the intent to rob, are the most dangerous; they are committed unexpectedly for the victim, limiting the time to make a decision.

Article Review

The article by Elliott and Jarrett highlights the reasons for the increased level of violence in the workplace, highlighting economic difficulties, multiculturalism, and drug addiction among people. The authors also cited the average statistics of those who committed the most murders in the workplace (Elliott & Jarrett, 1994). They were single, middle-aged Caucasian men embittered by people and life, according to statistics. After committing a murder, these people often committed suicide, probably fearing being arrested and ending in prison (Elliott & Jarrett, 1994). For most of these criminals, murder was the most prominent and easiest way to resolve conflicts at work.

In addition, the authors of the articles identify at least ten elements of Human Resource Management that deserve special attention and consideration. Among them are, for example, processes of job analysis, selection processes, performance evaluation processes, and the probation period. All these processes contribute to the fact that only adequately and emotionally stable and psychologically healthy people get into the team (Elliott & Jarrett, 1994). According to the article, the only legal document regulating violence in the workplace is the Occupational Health and Safety of 1970 (Elliott & Jarrett, 1994). However, there are no specific standards created to ensure workplace safety.

Efforts of the US Department of Labor

The policy of the Ministry of Labor in the field of violence in the workplace is aimed at increasing the level of safety of workers and reducing the number of cases of violence in the workplace. It tries to maintain a work environment where violence or potentially violent situations are effectively addressed (U.S. department of labor, n.d.). This policy focuses on prevention by increasing employees’ understanding of the nature of violence in the workplace, ways to respond to it, and ways to prevent it. For example, this policy assumes that each employee will treat all other employees, as well as clients or clients, with dignity and respect.

This program partially copes with the prevention of violence in the workplace, as it involves various strategies for preventing and countering this phenomenon. The prevention strategy includes maintaining a friendly atmosphere and minimizing negative emotions such as resentment, anger, or hostility (U.S. department of labor, n.d.). One can highlight the promotion of sincere, open, and timely communication between employees; maintaining mechanisms for dealing with complaints and problems; maintaining impartial and consistent discipline for employees who exhibit inappropriate behavior and low productivity among the opportunities. In addition, an essential aspect of the Ministry’s policy is to maintain a safe and physically safe workplace. It ensures the functioning of the federal security service or designated security personnel to respond to requests for assistance; assistance to security in registering, marking, and directing visitors to larger institutions; code key cards for access to protected areas.


Thus, it can be concluded that the US Department of Labor is making significant efforts to reduce violence in the workplace. The policy involves providing a friendly and pleasant work environment and improving the safety of employees (U.S. department of labor, n.d.). Nevertheless, it is possible to offer several recommendations to improve the effectiveness of such policies in organizations: enhanced administrative control, behavior modification, and combating the consequences of violence. It is necessary to involve psychologists who will teach workers to monitor signals associated with impending danger. In addition, it may be helpful to use behavior that helps dispel anger: do not respond to threats, demonstrate a calm attitude, and try to recognize the feelings of an aggressive person.


Elliott, R. H., & Jarrett, D. T. (1994). Violence in the workplace: The role of human resource management. Public personnel management, 23(2), 287-299.

Mento, C., Silvestri, M. C., Bruno, A., Muscatello, M. R. A., Cedro, C., Pandolfo, G., & Zoccali, R. A. (2020). Workplace violence against healthcare professionals: A systematic review. Aggression and violent behavior, 51, 101381. Web.

U.S. department of labor: DOL workplace violence program. (n.d.). Web.

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