WRITER: LESLIE LOVELESS
CONTACT: DAN MCMILLAN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6835; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: March 6, 2001
UI report calls for national commitment to reduce
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A new report released today by
the University of Iowa identifies workplace violence as a significant public
health problem, affecting 2 million workers each year, and calls for a major
research funding initiative to better understand its causes and prevention.
"Workplace Violence: A Report to the Nation," produced
by the Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC) at the UI, was the result
of a workshop held last year in Washington, D.C. The workshop, funded by the
Centers for Disease Control (CDC), brought together representatives of industry,
labor, academia and government to identify areas within the problem of workplace
violence that are not well understood. These areas include data collection
to better understand the extent of the problem, and evaluation of the effectiveness
of prevention strategies that have been developed in some industries and in
some regions of the country.
James Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the UI College
of Public Health, spearheaded the effort that produced this report. "We have
been viewing the problem of workplace violence too narrowly, and in so doing,
we've not been able to get on top of it," Merchant said. "It's not just a
crime issue, or a private industry issue, or a labor issue. It's a much broader
public health problem.
"Unfortunately, we really do not understand very well
what works, and what doesn't, to prevent workplace violence. It's time for
us to make a national commitment to reduce the toll of violence on American
workers, and that commitment has to begin with good, solid research."
Participants in the April 2000 workshop also produced
five position papers outlining specific concerns from the perspectives of
researchers, regulators, labor union activists and business administrators.
These papers, which address in greater detail the issues raised in the "Report
to the Nation," appear in the February 2001 issue of the American Journal
of Preventive Medicine.
Funding for the workshop was provided by the National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Center
for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). Both of these centers are part
of the CDC.
Copies of "Workplace Violence: A Report to the Nation,"
are available from the UI Injury Prevention Research Center at www.public-health.uiowa.edu/iprc,
or by calling (319) 335-4415.