Health and Safety Executive: Violence At Work Findings from the 2009/10 British Crime Survey
This report presents findings from the 2009/10 British Crime Survey (BCS) on violence at work. It provides an overview of the extent of violence at work in England and Wales and examines the nature of these incidents and the risk factors that may affect victimisation.
The extent of violence at work
The risk of being a victim of actual or threatened violence at work is low; the 2009/10 BCS indicates that 1.4 per cent of working adults were the victims of one or more violent incidents at work.
- Approximately 318,000 workers had experienced at least one incident of violence at work in the 2009/10 BCS, 45 per cent fewer than the peak of 592,000 in 1997
- There were an estimated 677,000 incidents of violence at work according to the 2009/10 BCS, comprising 310,000 assaults and 336,000 threats.
- The number of incidents of violence at work has fallen by 55 per cent from the peak in 1995 to the current level.
- Respondents in the protective service occupations, for example police officers, were most at risk of violence at work, with 9 per cent having experienced one or more incidents of actual or threatened violence while working during the year prior to their interview. Others at risk included health professionals, at 3.8 per cent, and health and social welfare associate professionals, with 2.6 per cent. Science and technology professionals, and workers in textiles, printing and other skilled trades were least at risk.
The nature of violence at work
- The 2009/10 BCS found that 1.3 per cent of women and 1.5 per cent of men were victims of violence at work once or more during the year prior to their interview. The highest risk age groups were 25-34 and 35-44 for men (1.8 and 2.0 per cent respectively) and 35-44, and 55-64 for women (1.5 per cent).
- It is estimated that almost half (43%) of all people assaulted or threatened at work were repeat victims, with a third (36%) experiencing three or more incidents of workplace violence during the year, and a further 12% having experienced two incidents.
- Strangers were the offenders in 65% of cases of workplace violence. Among incidents where the offender was known, the offenders were most likely to be clients or a member of the public known through work
- Victims of actual or threatened violence at work said that the offender was under the influence of alcohol in 38% of incidents, and that the offender was under the influence of drugs in 19% of incidents.
Consequences of violence at work
- The 2009/10 BCS found 37% of assaults at work resulted in injury, with minor bruising and scratching accounting for the majority of the injury type recorded.
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