Most employees in the UK would likely admit to feeling angry in the workplace every now and again. Causes could be anything from the pressure of imminent deadlines, to losing an important file, to that irritatingly loud colleague who really isn’t as funny as they’d like to think. It’s rare though, that irked employees will resort to violent outbursts, as figures from the latest British Crime Survey (conducted by the Health and Safety Executive and Office for National Statistics) apparently confirm.
In 60% of 2011-12 incidents, it was a complete stranger that was the violent offender. Additionally, alcohol was a contributing factor in almost 40% of cases, while drugs were involved in just over a fifth. Considering the vast majority of us would never risk our jobs by consuming such substances while at work, it can be assumed members of the public are more likely to violently attack, or threaten, workers than a fellow employee.
While workplace violence (both physical and verbal) has been in decline since 2001, 1.4% of the UK’s workforce was a victim of such between 2011 and 2012. This percentage is significant, for it equates to a total of approximately 643,000 individuals. That’s a lot of people who have been denied the right to feel – and be – safe while at work.
It is currently unclear exactly how many of the 2011-12 incidences resulted in claims for compensation, but recompense is certainly deserved by anyone violently hurt or threatened while at work. This is especially true should violence occur as a result of possible negligence. Security failing to prevent an intoxicated individual from entering the building in which employees work is one possible example where the employer’s duty to protect staff may have failed.
Have you ever been threated – or violently attacked – while at work? Do any of the figures from our infographic surprise you?
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