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

J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Jun;40(6):561-7. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199806000-00009.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance Claim Review
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / economics
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workers' Compensation / economics*
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data
  • Wounds and Injuries / economics
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*