23 May 2022


Terrorism and Workplace Related Violence

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Workplace Violence-Related Liabilities

According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workplace violence as any behavior that has the characteristics of verbal abuse, physical assaults, or threats that can occur at the settings of the workplace (Kerr, 2010). Such behaviors can include physical violence, rape, harassment, threats, intimidations, stalking, obscene phone calls, and other forms of disruptive or potentially dangerous behaviors (Brown, 2019). Violence can cause harm, which can be liable to either employee or the employer. Violence in workplace settings is accountable to legal steps that can be incurred by the employee or the employer. 

Workplace violence can result in liabilities such as health, legal, property damage, workplace reputation, and teamwork/cooperation liability (Kerr, 2010). Violence can result in court cases. For example, if a customer or employee is hurt in the working environment through violence such as rape can result in a court case where the employer or the person who committed the crime can be held liable. 

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Violence can result in health liabilities where the company or the people involved in the violence can be forced to pay all the health-related bills. If an employee is hurt in the workplace, it can quickly become a problem to the employer if it is concluded that it was work-related. Employers or those who committed the crime can be forced to cater for any health-related harm caused during the violence. 

Violent acts such as physical assault can also result in property damage and destroy the reputation of an organization. In cases such as threats, rape, and harassment are reported in a company, the company reputation is destroyed in the eyes of the public, which can impact its performance (Kerr, 2010). Involvement in violent cases such as fighting can result in damaging property, which increases the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged assets.

Employer liability

The consequences of workplace violence can become liable to the employer. The law requires the employee to provide a hazard-free or a safe working environment. The employer thus has a responsibility to manage the environment to prevent violence. Therefore, if the employer fails to provide a secure environment, they are at risk of legal claims such as negligent retention, negligent hiring, breach of the duty to warn, workers compensations or violation of the Civil rights Act and violations of Americans with Disabilities Act (Kerr, 2010). Therefore, workplace violence can prove to be expensive to the employer. 

Employees Liability

If an employee engages in violent activities within the working environment, they can be held liable by the employer. Employees are required to be responsible for their behaviors, and they are liable to any action that they undertake out of their responsibilities. For example, if an employee disrupts the operation of an organization because of drug use, they are held liable for their behavior. Violent actions in a working environment can result in punishments (Brown, 2019). The employers are required to report extreme violent cases such as rape, fighting, stalking, among others, that fall under state and federal crime. Employees can be punished by termination, pay cuts, and other measures that both the employee and employer have agreed upon (Kerr, 2010). 

Actions That Can Reduce Workplace Liabilities

It is the role and the responsibility of the employer to ensure the safety of the working place. Employers can undertake various steps to limit liabilities that result from workplace violence. Employers have the legal obligation to protect all people from hart at the workplace. Both state and federal laws, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act, require the employees to provide a safe working place for all people visiting the organization to avoid violence-related liabilities (Brown, 2019). 

According to Brown (2019), OSHA requires employees to develop a workplace violence prevention program. The aim of such a program included steps such as workplace or site assessment, creating a hazard prevention and control plan, training on safety and health, and keeping organizational records. The employer can conduct a worksite assessment to evaluate a company's vulnerability to violence in the process or preparing for a violent action plan. The employer has the responsibility to prevent and control hazards such as weapons or use of drugs at the workplace to prevent risks of violence (Kerr, 2010). The violent program aim at training the employers of an organization on safety and health issues that can arise from violence such as permanent injuries or, in extreme cases, violence can lead to loss of life. 

Employers can undertake measures such as behavioral interventions to reduce the violence that can result in various liabilities. Employers are required to develop a code of ethics that govern the way people interact during the working environment. Workplace codes of ethics provide an outline of how employees should behave and the punishment that befalls those who engage in violent activities (Brown, 2019; Kerr, 2010). For example, drugs used in the workplace can easily lead to violent actions such as verbal abuse, harassment, rape, or physical assault. However, with a code of ethics, all people in the organization understand that the use of drugs at the workplace can lead to legal liabilities on the employees. 

A working place rule of law that governs the relations of all people in the organization is essential in inhibiting violent acts that can result in liabilities both to the employees and employers. Implementing a law that governs the behaviors and actions of the employees can help reduce workplace violence liability (Brown, 2019). Examples of laws, regulations, and policies that an employee can implement include weapons, laws, and violence policy. A law governing the carrying and use of weapons at the workplace can quickly help organizational management to handle violence. Workplace violence explains clearly to the employees the stance on violent behaviors in the workplace. 

Employers can reduce liabilities resulting from workplace violence by putting a comprehensive hiring strategy (Brown, 2019). An example of a thorough hiring process ensures that the employer carries out criminal background screens and checking the former employers' references. Employees with a violent background from verified sources such as previous employers or the criminal justice system should not be hired. 

Proper training actions during the recruitment process and also annual training can reduce cases of violence in the workplace. New-hire orientations and refresher training on how to handle conflict and avoiding violent behavior must be closely observed to prevent violence in the working environment (Brown, 2019). Through train, all employees in a working place acquire skills on how to handle harmful behaviors that can result in workplace violence. 

According to Brown (2019), employers have to provide the proper communication channels to aid the process of violence monitoring and reporting at the workplace. Training employees on communication and creating the right communication environment among all people in the working environment open up employees to good working relations that reduce violence. For example, training employees on interpersonal communication cues, recognition of behavioral cues, and how to report the potential cause of conflict to employees helps reduce violent cases in the working environment. 

The Motivations to Terrorism

People resort to acts of terrorism for many reasons. The act of violence in people can be attributed to certain factors, which include religious, social, economic, and political motivators. 

Political Motivators

People engage in violent acts whenever they want to change a political system and their power in society. When people are unsuccessful in obtaining the desired place in the community, they become frustrated, which makes them violent. Lack of success in having an identity in society leads people to develop a crisis in the psychosocial identity. The need to become a terrorist or even join a terrorist group is usually symptomatic of incomplete political identity. It has been approximated that around 50% of the people who are suspected of terrorist have reported that political repression is their primary motivator in engaging in terror attacks. According to the model of the personal pathway, terrorists came from a particular, at-risk population, who earlier had suffered damage to self-esteem. A person can also be motivated to become a terrorist through the adoption of certain political philosophies such as fascism and socialism, among others. The need to be identified with such a philosophy makes one engage in terrorist activities. The need to put to an end some oppression perceived to because the government is another political motivator to become a terrorist (Subramanyam, 2018). When people feel like the government is oppressing them through, for example, not providing the necessary services and goods, they tend to be rebellious, which they do by using violence. People also engage in terrorist activities whenever they want to respond to some violent act. The act of revenge is called the tit-for-tat attack, such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Religious Motivators

Over the years, several terrorist attacks in the name of religion have made headlines. People are motivated to engage in religious violence when they want to acquire a religious identity or even achieve particular religious objectives. Throughout history, terrorist actions have been enhanced on the grounds of religion with the aim being to enforce or spread some beliefs, opinions, or even viewpoints. The Global Terrorism Index has identified religious violence as the critical driver of terror attacks around the globe. When people are not able to achieve some of their religious goals through the conventional way, they become terrorists who attempt to send messages through the terrorization of the public in general.

Religion has served as a radicalization instrument, with most recruits of terrorism being made in religious places. Many terrorists have identified that they have joined groups such as al Shabab and Al Qaeda because religion motivated them to do so. The religious leaders use their authority and power to justify terrorism act as the essential means of meeting their needs (Subramanyam, 2018). Religion offers terrorists a place to take refuge and find psychological or physical sanctuary against any kind of repression.

Social and Economic Motivators

Certain forms of deprivation lead people to terrorism or even make them susceptible to joining terrorist groups. Lack of education and poverty, identity, and acquiring a sense of belongingness are among the socioeconomic factors that motivate people to become violent. Social injustice is one of the social factors that lead people to resort to violence. The desire for someone to take revenge against the society or a person who they believe did them injustice leads to one being a terrorist. People who become terrorists due to justice issues perceive themselves as victims of society with the notion that it is the society that is causing their unhappiness and unsuccessful state. Terrorists believe that a particular person or group of people caused the disharmony in their society in terms of social growth hence the acts of violence. 

The struggle with identity and belongingness are also social factors motivating people to become terrorists. Some people struggle to identify themselves within a particular group or anyone for that matter for long periods. The unsatisfied identity needs tend to be manifested in different ways, with people joining terrorism, where they adopt the identity of someone else without critical or personal examination (Subramanyam, 2018). Being a terrorist allows a person to acquire some kind of psychosocial identity with negative identity being considered a proper and desirable aspect, especially where one is rejected in society.

Some people are motivated to become terrorists since they feel a sense of connectedness and to belong as terrorists. The sense of belonging makes one feel that they exist. People struggling with the problem of belonging are those rejected by family, society, or even peers. People who engage in violent acts are in need of the structure, perspective, and rules that are acquired through belonging to certain groups or engaging in activities since belonging defines their friends, role, as well as interaction with the society.

Mental illnesses and fanaticism are also motivators to terrorism. People suffering from mental illnesses tend to be violent. People who are psychiatrically ill express their illnesses through engaging in terrorist activities. Mental illnesses tend to make people have psychological trauma, which makes them view the world, including their actions and the actions of others in an unrealistic way, and they tend to be motivated to become violent (Crenshaw, 2012). People who are fanatics tend to engage in terrorism activities since they believe that an act of violence is cool and logical. Some people engage in terrorism just for fun and simply because they feel happy when they attack other people. 

People are also motivated to become terrorists by the need for heroism. Many people in the world have desired to become heroes at one point in their lives. Some people believe that they have unique leadership qualities and skills that distinguish them from others. People engage in terrorist acts or even join terror groups to acquire some heroism that is a revolutionary and some sense of importance which they do not acquire as normal and well-behaved individuals. People also engage in certain violent activities when they want to be associated with a particular terrorist that they consider to be a hero.

Poverty and Unemployment are economic factors that motivate people to become violent. When people are unemployed, they tend to be idle, which allows them to have plenty of time to engage in criminal activities. People join terrorism groups for promises of better pay; hence they accept to earn some income. Poverty and unemployment are interconnected (Krieger & Meierrieks, 2011). Without employment, there is no income, and in the results is poverty. People who undergo financial difficulties even tend to be depressed about their state, which they can vent out through terrorist acts.


Brown, N. J. (2019). Workplace Violence Prevention.

Crenshaw, M. (2012). The causes of terrorism. Terrorism studies: A reader , 99.

Kerr, K. (2010). Workplace violence: Planning for prevention and response . Butterworth-Heinemann.

Krieger, T., & Meierrieks, D. (2011). What causes terrorism?. Public Choice , 147 (1-2), 3-27.

Subramanyam, M. (2018). Motivation leading to radicalization in terrorists. Forensic Res Criminol Int J , 6 (4), 301-307.

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