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J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Jun;40(6):561-7.

Non-fatal workplace violence workers' compensation claims (1993-1996).

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Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health, Hopkinton, MA 01748, USA.


More is known about fatal workplace violence than non-fatal workplace violence (NFWV). This study provides descriptive information on the number and cost of NFWV claims filed with a large workers' compensation carrier. NFWV claims from 51 US jurisdictions were selected either by cause codes or by word search from the accident-description narrative. Claims reported in 1993 through 1996 were analyzed to report the frequency, cost, gender, age, industry, and nature of injury. An analysis of a random sample of 600 claims provided information on perpetrator type, cause of events, and injury mechanism. A total of 28,692 NFWV claims were filed during the study period. No cost was incurred for 32.5% of the claims, and 15.5% received payments for lost work. As a percentage of all claims filed by industry, schools had the highest percentage (11.4%) of NFWV claims, and banking had the highest percentage (11.5%) of cost. The majority of claims in the banking random sample group (93%) were due to stress. In the random sample, 90.3% of claims were caused by criminals (51.8%) or by patients, clients, or customers (38.5%). Only 9.7% were caused by an employee (9.2%) or a personal acquaintance of the employee (0.5%). Employers should acknowledge that NFWV incidents occur, recognize that the majority of perpetrators are criminals or clients rather than employees, and develop appropriate prevention and intervention programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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