The problem of violence at work has received considerable attention in recent years. According to Swedish statistics, personnel in the health-care sector are the most affected. The purpose of this paper is to present a framework or model for studies of workplace violence, and to demonstrate its application to the analysis of violence in health-care settings. The model treats violence as a process comprising of several stages/sub-events, and shows how this process is influenced by underlying structural (rather permanent) and situational (generally temporary) risk factors. Understanding the diversity in the process provides a basis for analysis of connections between interacting factors at different stages. Risk management (hazard identification, risk analysis, and preventive counter-measures) should be integrated into the work situation and operations of an organization.