Workplace violence can be generally defined as verbal or physical assault or any violence that happens at work or while on duty.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16,890 workers in the private industry experienced trauma from nonfatal workplace violence in 2016. These incidents required days away from work. Of those victims who experienced trauma from workplace violence: 70% were female; 67% were aged 25 to 54; 70% worked in the healthcare and social assistance industry; 21% required 31 or more days away from work to recover; and 19% involved 3 to 5 days away from work.

Violence can occur in any workplace and among any type of worker, but the risk for fatal violence is greater for workers in sales, protective services, and transportation, while the risk for nonfatal violence resulting in days away from work is greatest for healthcare and social assistance workers.