Surveillance and assessment of workplace assault injuries: analysis of Rhode Island workers' compensation claims 1998-2002

Prev Med. 2006 Nov;43(5):429-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2006.06.008. Epub 2006 Aug 8.


Objective: To analyze workplace assault by rate, injury severity, and trends using Rhode Island workers' compensation claim data.

Method: A total of 6402 workers' compensation assault claims from Rhode Island for the period of 1998 through 2002 was analyzed. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor was used to derive estimates of injury rates.

Results: An average rate of 27.7 assaults per 10,000 workers was found and varied only marginally across years. Females filed 75% of all assault claims, though injuries to males resulted in longer periods of indemnification. The total cost of workplace assaults was 7,025,997 dollars, averaging 1097 dollars per claim, and average indemnification duration was 16.8 days per claim. While the assault rate was relatively stable, a notable decline in both cost and indemnification periods over time was discovered.

Conclusion: The assault rate found was among the highest reported to date, demonstrating that workplace violence remains a significant threat to employee safety. While a decline in incident severity was discovered over time, many outcomes were still serious. Preventive interventions to reduce incidents of workplace assaults among groups at the highest risk should be given highest priority.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhode Island
  • Violence / economics
  • Violence / prevention & control*
  • Workers' Compensation / economics*
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data
  • Workplace*