Violence at Work Statistics

Although working in certain occupations brings an increased risk of violence and aggression, taken nationally the risk of becoming a victim of an assault or threat of violence at work is actually quite low.

Those working in protective service occupations face the highest risk by far of experiencing workplace violence, with people working in health and social care also having a higher than average risk.

Findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) showed that during 2015 – 2016:

  • The risk of work related violence was similar to the previous five years, with an estimated 1.4 per cent of working adults the victims of one or more violent incidents at work.
  • 350,000 adults of working age in employment experienced work related violence including threats and physical assault.
  • There was an estimated 698,000 incidents of violence at work (comprising 329,000 assaults and 369,000 threats.
  • There was a fairly equal distribution of victims by gender, with an estimated 1.3% of women and 1.5% of men being victims of violence at work once or more.
  • It is estimated that 56% of victims reported one incident of work related violence, whilst 18 % experienced two incidents of work related violence and 26% experienced three or more violent incidents.
  • Strangers were the offenders in 46% of cases. Among the 54% of violent incidents where the offender was known, the offenders were most likely to be clients or a member of the public known through work.
  • 67% per cent of violence at work resulted in no physical injury and, of the remaining 33% of cases, minor bruising accounted for the majority of the injuries recorded. However, there were 4,697 injuries to employees and one death, reported via RIDDOR, where the ‘kind of accident’ was ‘physical assault/act of violence’ in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). This represents 6.5% of all reported workplace violence.