Workplace Violence (Videos)

Workplace violence is a serious problem that can have tragic consequences. 

According to the CDC, there are four main types of workplace violence: criminal intent, client-on-worker violence, worker-on-worker violence, and personal relationship violence.

Criminal intent refers to acts of violence committed to harm others, regardless of the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. Example: 

  • a nurse assaulted in the hospital parking garage;
  • a home health care nurse is mugged while conducting a home visit.

Client-on-worker violence occurs when a client or customer becomes violent towards a worker. Research shows that this type of violence occurs most frequently in emergency and psychiatric treatment settings, waiting rooms, and geriatric settings but is by no means limited to these.


Worker-on-worker violence occurs when two employees become involved in a physical or verbal altercation. It includes bullying and frequently manifests as verbal and emotional abuse that is unfair, offensive, vindictive, and/or humiliating though it can range to homicide.

Personal relationship violence is when someone uses violence to control or threaten someone with whom they have a personal relationship, such as a spouse or partner. For example, the husband of a nurse follows her to work, orders her home, and threatens her. 

Workplace violence can profoundly impact both the victims and witnesses of the act itself and the work environment as a whole. 

It is important for employers to be aware of the risks of workplace violence and to take steps to prevent it from happening.

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