Violence at Work (UK)

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.

The 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales showed that:

  • An estimated 257,000 adults experienced violence at work during the previous year. (That's about one in every hundred working adults.) This figure has remained fairly stable for the past five years.

  • There were an estimated 583,000 incidents of violence at work - comprising 269,000 assaults and 314,000 threats. This was a reduction of 7,300 on the estimated 656,000 incidents in the 2012/13 survey.

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

  • There was a fairly equal distribution of victims by gender, with an estimated 1.0% of women and 1.2% of men experiencing violence at work once or more during the year.

  • 56% of victims reported one incident of work related violence whilst 17% experienced two incidents of work related violence and 27% experienced three or more incidents.

  • Strangers were the offenders in 56% of the reported incidents of workplace violence. Among the 44% of incidents where the offender was known, the offenders were most likely to be clients or a member of the public known through work.

  • Most (72%) of incidents resulted in no physical injury and of the remaining 28% of cases, minor bruising or a black eye accounted for the majority of the injuries recorded. However, in the same period there were 4,936 RIDDOR reports of injuries to employees involving acts of violence in Great Britain - comprising one fatality, 866 major or specified injuries, and 4,069 over-7-day injuries).

NOTE: The British Crime Survey definition of work-related violence is: All assaults or threats which occurred while the victim was working, that were perpetuated by members of the public. This does NOT include verbal abuse.