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.
From the Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health, Hopkinton, Mass.
Address correspondence to: Lobat Hashemi, MS, Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health, 71 Frankland Road, Hopkinton, MA 01748.