Peg Kramer, AIC, CPCU April 18, 2018 4 min read

Violence in the Workplace

Did you know that April is Workplace Violence Awareness Month?  According to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), workers who can be at risk for violence include:

  • Cashiers and tellers who handle and exchange money
  • People who work for businesses that serve alcohol
  • Workers who are alone or in isolated areas
  • Employees who routinely interact with mentally ill or emotionally unstable people
  • Workers in healthcare environments

Nationwide, over two million Americans have reported being victims of workplace violence each year. Growing statistics suggest that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be a victim of workplace violence.

how to stop violence

OSHA considers workplace violence to be any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at your workplace.  Such violence can involve employees, clients, customers, and visitors. 

Half of all American businesses with 1,000 or more employees have at least one instance of workplace violence each year.  The Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort cited a study finding that homicides are five to seven times more likely in workplaces where employees are allowed to carry guns than in workplaces that prohibit them.

What can employers do to prevent violence in their businesses?  You can establish no tolerance policies that have strict ramifications if employees bring weapons into your building or keep them in vehicles on your premise. Under Workers Compensation law, WI Stat. Sec 175.60 (15m),(a), an employer may prohibit an employee from carrying a concealed weapon or a particular type of concealed weapon in the course of the employee’s employment or during any part of the course of the employee’s employment. “Weapons” include handguns, electronic tasers, clubs, and knives. 

Workplace violence also includes; stalking, harassment, and bullying other employees.  Encourage employees to report any and all incidents that occur. Have meetings for all levels of staff at your business to communicate that any type of violence is unacceptable behavior and the consequences of committing these acts on your premise.

Do you make it easy for outsiders to gain access to your business? Is there a written procedure on how to handle this type of situation?  Has the procedure been communicated to all employees?  Do you let employees in the building during their non-work hours?  Some simple ideas for prevention could lead to avoidance for acts of violence.  Make your business a safe place to work.

If you have questions about workplace violence please contact the Claims Department at Hausmann-Johnson Insurance for assistance.

Hausmann-Johnson Insurance has developed a training program on workplace harassment. Click below to learn more about bringing this training to your worksite:

Learn More About Our Harassment Prevention Training


Peg Kramer, AIC, CPCU

Peg found her way to Hausmann Group in 2014 over a serendipitous lunch with a former coworker. She uses her 20+ years of experience in the claims field to be a champion for clients when they are faced with difficult situations. Peg’s word is solid - she is tenacious and will go to great lengths to problem solve to provide the right answers. Peg believes that Wisconsin has the fairest and most equitable workers compensation program in the nation for both the employee and the employer. She prides herself in educating clients on what their options are under the program and how to prevent accidents, work with injured workers, and save money doing it. Peg grew up in her parent’s grocery store and was the first “Cart Greeter” ahead of the big box stores starting at age 4. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville with Bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology. On the weekends she loves to relax at her lake home in Oxford, Wisconsin or you can find her at garage sales, thrift shops and consignment stores learning the stories behind all of the interesting pieces for sale. She also actively volunteers at her church on the Parish Life Committee.