Incidence of work-related aggression and violence in Canada
Reasons for the study
In 2004, almost one in five Canadian victims of violence reported that the violence took place at work, amounting to approximately 356,000 incidents of reported workplace violence. The importance of violence at work has led to the development of specific legislation and resources in most Canadian provinces. As part of a comprehensive approach to addressing workplace violence, we need to understand how often workplace violence occurs, which groups are at highest risk for workplace violence, and if this risk differs depending on the work context or time of day. This study examined the incidence and consequences of workplace violence using different population-level data sources and workers’ compensation data.
Objectives of the study
- To describe the incidence of workplace violence in Canada, both overall and for particular demographic groups (e.g. men versus women) and workplace groups (e.g. industries)
- To identify groups of workers who are at risk of workplace violence, to understand the relationships between these risk groups, and to examine if risk groups differ depending on data source or type of workplace violence (e.g. sexual violence versus non-sexual violence, or workplace violence from co-workers/supervisors compared to violence from clients)
Related scientific publications
- Chen C, Smith PM, Mustard C. Gender differences in injuries attributed to workplace violence in Ontario 2002-2015. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2019;76(1):3-9. doi:10.1136/oemed-2018-105152.
- Lanthier S, Bielecky A, Smith PM. Examining risk of workplace violence in Canada: a sex/gender-based analysis. Annals of Work Exposures and Health. 2018;62(8):1012-1020. doi:10.1093/annweh/wxy066.
Related interviews and articles
- Understanding challenges in hospitals' workplace violence reporting systems. Contact. April 3, 2020. Available from: https://www.csse.org/document/6319/Contact-Spring-2020.pdf
- Workplace violence solutions for schools central to recent ETFO symposium. Workers Health & Safety Centre. February 5, 2020. Available from: https://www.whsc.on.ca/What-s-new/News-Archive/Workplace-violence-solutions-for-schools-central-to-recent-ETFO-symposium
- As teachers report more violent incidents in schools, boards struggle. The Globe and Mail. September 7, 2019. Available from: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/education/article-as-teachers-report-more-violent-incidents-in-schools-boards-struggle/
- Workplace violence against women rising, driven by growing rates in education sector. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 96, Spring 2019.
- Women four times more likely to experience sexual assault at work. The Conversation. January 22, 2019. Available from: https://theconversation.com/women-four-times-more-likely-to-experience-sexual-assault-at-work-108380
- Women in education sector at greater risk of workplace violence. Canadian Occupational Safety. August 31, 2018. Available from: https://www.cos-mag.com/psychological-health-safety/37860-women-in-education-sector-at-greater-risk-of-workplace-violence/
- Sex/gender analysis: Are risks of violence at work higher for men or women? It depends on type of violence. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 93, Summer 2018.
Ontario’s Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Leadership Table
Ontario Ministry of Labour