Non-fatal workplace violence injuries in the United States 2003-2004: a follow back study

Work. 2012;42(1):125-35. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-1328.


Objective: Contribute to the prevention of workplace violence by providing information about the nature and circumstances of nonfatal assaults among U.S. workers.

Methods: Data were collected from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System occupational supplement (NEISS-Work), a stratified probability sample of U.S. hospitals. Workplace violence victims identified from NEISS-Work voluntarily completed a followback interview detailing the nature and circumstances surrounding their workplace violence incident.

Results: The majority of workplace violence injuries treated in emergency departments resulted from simple assaults that did not involve any lost time from work. Almost two-thirds of these workplace violence victims filed only an internal report. Eighty percent of the victims returned to their same jobs and will not change the way they do their jobs as a result of the violent incident.

Conclusions: Nonfatal workplace violence is an important risk for U.S. workers, particularly in some occupations and industries. Prevention strategies need to be tailored by occupation and work environment. Results from the healthcare section of this survey indicate high numbers of incidents during times when the healthcare workers were assisting patients with medical and non-medical needs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S.
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Occupational Health / trends
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Security Measures / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Violence / ethnology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / trends
  • Workload / psychology
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data
  • Workplace*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*