Workplace assaults on minority health and mental health care workers in Los Angeles

Am J Public Health. 1995 Jul;85(7):1011-4. doi: 10.2105/ajph.85.7.1011.


Workplace violence is becoming increasingly recognized as a serious problem in health care settings. All 628 workers' compensation assaults claimed by minority Los Angeles County health care workers from 1986 through 1990 were abstracted. Population-at-risk data from county personnel computer tapes provided denominators by age, sex, race, job classification, and type of facility. Rates varied by type of facility (rate ratio = 38 for psychiatric hospitals vs public health facilities) and varied by job, with inpatient nursing attendants having the highest rate for caregivers. Most assaults were committed by patients (86%), followed by coworkers (8%). The average cost of an assault ($4879) was relatively low but related to the costlier problem of work-related emotional illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Community Mental Health Services* / statistics & numerical data
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data
  • Workforce
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data