Although most federal employees feel secure at work, “13 percent of Federal employees said they had observed an incident of workplace violence in the past two years,” according to a new Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) survey.
The most common type of violence observed “was, by far, violence perpetrated by current or former employees,” the survey found. “Survey respondents observed this type of workplace violence more often than violence perpetrated by all other individuals combined.”
The good news is, almost three-quarters of the employees “agreed that their agencies take sufficient steps to ensure their safety from violence occurring at their workplace.”
The findings are based primarily on a 2010 survey of almost 72,000 employees. Postal employees were not included. Fifty-eight percent, or 42,000 surveys, were returned and considered valid.
Most violence did not result in either physical injury or property damage. Fifteen incidents resulted in physical injury and 10 percent in property loss or damage.
Among other things, MSBP recommended that agencies develop formal workplace violence prevention programs, collect data on workplace violence and screen applicants for a history of violent behavior.
Previous columns by Joe Davidson are available at wapo.st/JoeDavidson.