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OSHA Reports Workplace Violence is now the 3rd Leading Cause of Occupational Death in US

Workplace violence can happen to anyone, anywhere contrary to the misconception that it "can't happen here or to me or to anyone I know."

This past week, two HVAC technicians were amongst the six people shot dead at the home of a prominent North Carolina physician.

Robert Shook, James Lewis. Photo from GoFundMe fundraiser account organized by their employer to benefit their families:

Mr. Shook and Mr. Lewis were both long-term employees of GSM Services, and were murdered while working at the home of Dr. Robert Lesslie and his wife. Dr. and Mrs. Lesslie and two of their grandchildren, ages five and nine, were also shot dead during this mass shooting.

The suspected killer, a former NFL player, committed suicide prior to being apprehended by police.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency which enforces the Occupational Safety and Health Act, reports that workplace violence is the now the third leading cause of occupational death in the United States.

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. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide."

Workplace violence includes threats, verbal abuse, physical assaults and homicide, and can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors per OSHA.

OSHA maintains a website to disseminate information on the extent of violence in the workplace, assessing the hazards in different settings and developing workplace violence prevention plans for individual worksites here:


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