US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

violenceintheworkplace02Approximately 2 million workers a year are affected by some form of workplace violence, including workers within the tourism industry. Workplace violence, which can include threats, verbal abuse, physical assaults and even homicide, is a critical issue for employers to consider. Although most workplace violence-related fatalities are linked to incidents involving firearms, nonfatal crimes are a much more common and often underestimated source of workplace violence. It is an employer’s duty to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards that could adversely affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors.

One step to improving the safety of your work environment is to conduct an annual review of and to update (as necessary) your company’s security policy and procedures. Additionally, employers must ensure that their workers have been trained on security policies and procedures. It does no good having a program binder in an office if no one has ever read it. As a minimum, employers should:

  • Establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence against or by employees.
  • Establish a workplace violence prevention program or incorporate the information into an existing program, handbook or standard operating procedures
  • Determine how employees should respond to events of workplace violence
  • Encourage employees to report and log all incidents and threats.

For further assistance regarding this topic, UVICELL Safety in Paradise can help small and medium-sized employers by providing free OSHA On-Site Consultation Services. To learn more about this free and confidential safety and occupational health program visit:

Please don’t hesitate to contact us directly with safety and health questions, to schedule a consultation, or with any other safety and occupational health concerns at our Safety in Paradise office at We look forward to helping you!