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April Safety Topic: Workplace Violence Awareness Month

Every year, 2 million American workers become victims of workplace violence. It happens in every industry and can involve anyone, including workers, customers, patients, visitors, or contractors. 

While workplace violence incidents are common, they're also preventable. During the month of April, employers will hold events to raise awareness about workplace violence, culminating in Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28th. 

Below are some ways you can participate in Workplace Violence Awareness Month:


  1. Establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence against or by workers. This policy should cover all workers, clients, customers, patients, visitors, and contractors. 
  2. Teach employees how to recognize workplace violence hazards. OSHA defines workplace violence as "any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site." 
  3. Provide a way for employees to report incidents. Encourage employees to communicate openly with management and report concerns without fear of retaliation.
  4. Establish an emergency response plan for workplace violence events, such as a violent intruder. 
  5. Contact your local law enforcement agency to set up mock training exercises to practice your emergency response plan.
  6. Have a video screening of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) video, "Violence on the Job". After the video, have a discussion with your employees about workplace violence prevention.
  7. Take the employer's pledge to prevent sexual violence in the workplace
  8. Reduce the risk involved in handling money, valuables, or prescription drugs. A job hazard analysis can help you identify potential hazards or unsafe acts and create controls to keep workers safe.  
  9. Know how to recognize and respond to the signs of domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE), is available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence or seeking information.
  10. Observe Workers' Memorial Day on April 28th. Events are held across the US to remember workers who have died on the job and continue to fight for improved worker safety. Use this map to locate events near you

Next steps: Download the 2020 Safety Calendar

Participating in Workplace Violence Awareness Month is just one way to make your workplace safer. In addition to following the tips above, download the free 2020 safety calendar to help you plan your toolbox talks and training.

Download the free 2023 workplace safety calendar