Tuesday, July 22, 2003

NY Public Employees Call for Workplace Violence Standard

Responding to a continuing rise in the rate of workplace violence in New York, public employee unions are calling on the state Hazard Abatement Board to issue a standard protecting workers against workplace violence. According to the Public Employees Federation,
The number of assaults on state employees has risen from 1,396 in 1999 to 1,710 in 2001. And the rate of assaults and injuries per 10,000 state employees rose to 83.5 in 2001, a 26 percent increase over the 1999 rate.

When you factor in direct and indirect employment costs, workplace violence costs the state an estimated $42.5 million annually.

Thanks to joint efforts with PEF, injury statistics for the state Office of Mental Health have improved, but still show an extremely high statewide accident rate of 25.1 accidents per 100 workers in 2001-02. This rate is doubled to 51.1 when only forensic facilities are considered.