Workplace violence is an act of violence or threat of violence that occurs at the workplace, near the workplace (e.g. parking lot). It also includes workplace events or functions, work travel, and meetings at client offices or homes.
There are various types of workplace violence. Here are five general categories.
Criminal: Here there is not necessarily any relationship between the workplace and the perpetrator(s). The violence is based on the crime – e.g. bank robbery. Examples include robbery and damage to property. Example: In December 2018 three people rob a jewelry store in Markham.
Customer/Client: An irate customer, for example, who takes out his frustration on a sales clerk. Certain workplaces including healthcare, social services, and nursing homes seem to experience a relatively high number of incidents.
Worker to Worker: People who work together. This can be verbal intimidation or in extreme cases, physical violence. Example: April 2014, Chuang Li stabs four co-workers in an office in the Yonge Corporate Centre near York Mills Rd.
Personal-based: The stems from a personal relationship. A former husband, for example, follows his ex-wife at her workplace (also outside the workplace, or to and from work). Stalking is often a factor in these cases.
Ideological-based. Political or religious motivations. Many terrorist acts are allegedly motived by some form of ideology. Example: Rehab Dughmosh attacks people inside a Scarborough Canadian Tire store in June of 2017, allegedly for ISIS.
Workplace violence comes in many forms and stems from various motivations. In future blogs, we will explore some preventative measures as well as some tips to be safe when an incident occurs.
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