Studies for Workplace Violence Prevention Funded Under

Five New NIOSH Grant Awards

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) awarded five new grants to fund research for the prevention of workplace violence.

The grants total approximately $1.8 million and are funded as part of a $2 million Fiscal Year 2002 Workplace Violence Initiative, in which Congress directed NIOSH to develop intramural and extramural research targeting workplace violence.

Four of the studies will focus on identifying risk factors for workplace violence in diverse occupational groups (social service workers, health-care employees, police officers, and long-haul truckers), and the fifth will focus on research to increase the identification of domestic violence in the workplace. All of the projects address research priorities identified in recommendations from a workshop of experts from industry, labor, government, and academia, held in April 2000. The workshop was co-sponsored by the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center and NIOSH.

“The funding under the Congressional initiative allowed NIOSH, for the first time, to support a targeted set of research projects in the area of workplace violence,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “These five extramural studies will provide an important step forward in understanding and preventing workplace homicide and assault.”

According to recent data, 677 workplace homicides occurred in 2000, and 1.7 million workers are injured every year in non-fatal workplace assaults. In 1996, NIOSH suggested strategies for preventing incidents of workplace violence, and noted that more research was needed to better identify risk factors and assess interventions.

Preventing work-related traumatic injuries, including workplace homicides and assaults, is a priority area for research by NIOSH and partner organizations under the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). NORA, which was established by NIOSH with input and review by more than 500 diverse organizations and individuals, identifies areas where new research will do the most to reduce job-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths.

The five new workplace violence research studies funded by NIOSH are as follows:

Evaluation of workplace violence prevention intervention
University of Maryland at Baltimore
Baltimore, MD

This project will describe the range of risk factors for workplace violence in the social service workplace and assess the assault experience of staff in these workplaces. This information will be used to design, implement, and evaluate a workplace violence intervention in sample workplaces using a collaborative labor-management approach.

Evaluation of California initiatives to reduce violence in health care settings
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

This project will conduct impact and outcome evaluations of two workplace violence prevention initiatives in the State of California: the Cal/OSHA “Guidelines for the Security and Safety of Health Care and Community Service Workers” and the California Hospital Safety and Security Act. The overall goal of this proposed research is to apply a quasi-experimental study design to evaluate the simultaneous effects of these two state-based initiatives for workplace violence prevention.

Risks for workplace violence in long-haul truckers
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY

This study will identify the types of violence that women and men experience while working as long-haul tuck drivers and the risk factors that contribute to violence against and between truckers. The project will also determine the prevalence of domestic violence experienced by long-haul truck drivers when their driving partner is their intimate partner and identify work environment factors that place truck drivers' safety at risk.

Organizational factors affecting police victimization
Police Executive Research Forum
Washington, DC

This project will identify organizational factors within law enforcement agencies that reduce the incidence of assault and murder of on-duty police officers. Both internal police agency factors such as policies, training, work practices, and protective equipment and external factors such as violent crime rate and poverty level will be examined. A practical guide for law enforcement officers and executives will be developed based on the findings of this study.

Spokane workplace domestic violence initiative
Washington State University
Spokane, WA

This project will use employee and management education, business policy development, and creation of incident reporting strategies to increase the identification of domestic violence in the workplace. This effort will use a coordinated community response, bringing together victim support and safety, law enforcement, and business interests and will conduct a longitudinal, randomized outcomes study of the effectiveness of this intervention.

More information on NIOSH's research and recommendations for preventing work-related homicides and assaults is available on the web at . Further information on NIOSH's extramural research program is available at . For additional information on NIOSH, contact toll-free 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) or visit the NIOSH web page,