199812 Demographic and occupational characteristics associated with workplace victimization and reporting practices

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sarah L. Veele-Brice, MPH, PHC , Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Thomas M. Wickizer, PhD, MPH , Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Clarence Spigner, DrPH , Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Diane P. Martin, MA, PhD , Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Little is known about characteristics of non-fatal workplace violence (WPV). In general, demographic characteristics (age, race, and sex) are associated with an individuals' risk of victimization and their likelihood to report victimization to the police. This study examines if these relationships hold in the workplace and explores the role that other known risk factors (occupational category, shift, and victim/offender relationship) have on odds of non-fatal WPV.


Using secondary data from the 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey, rates of workplace victimization were calculated (N=237,790). Multivariate techniques were used to examine associations between demographic characteristics and WPV.


The rate of workplace victimization in 2005 was 13.8 per 1,000 people per year aged 12 and older. Workplace violent crime victimization was 3.6 per 1,000 and workplace injury victimization < 1 per 1,000.

Preliminary results indicate that men have a 7% higher odds of WPV victimization (p<0.001). African Americans' odds are 13% higher than Whites' and Native people are 48% more likely to be WPV victims (p<0.001). Older employees have an increased odds, but the relationship is non-linear.

Among victims of WPV (N=1,573), 46% of incidents were reported to police. Older and female workers were more likely to report comparable events than their counterparts (p<0.05). Victimization was most commonly reported to “stop the event” and went unreported because the incident was “not serious enough.”


Specific demographic groups have an increased risk for WPV. Results will help target interventions for WPV prevention and increase awareness of populations underreported in WPV statistics.

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify individuals who are at an increased work for victimization in the workplace. 2) Identify individual victims of workplace violence whose victimization is less likely to be reported to the police.

Keywords: Workplace Safety, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a graduate degree in epidemiology, am currently completing a PhD in Health Services with an emphasis on occupational health and a focus on injury prevention, and am the PI of the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.