Violence in the workplace

Workplace violence generally refers to acts or threats of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening behaviour that occurs at the worksite, whether the perpetrator is a client, patient, student, customer, co-worker or family member. IWH research focuses on the prevention of workplace violence at both the workplace and systems (policy) levels.

Featured

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At Work article

Workplace violence against women rising, driven by growing rates in education sector

Risks of workplace violence for men in health care on the decline, now lower than risks for female educators
Published: April 12, 2019
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At Work article

Sex/gender analysis: Are risks of violence at work higher for men or women? It depends on type of violence

Men and women face similar risks of physical violence at work, but the risks of sexual violence at work are four times higher for women
Published: August 6, 2018
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IWH in the media

Understanding challenges in hospitals' workplace violence reporting systems

To address workplace violence, we need to understand the size of the problem. That requires having reporting systems that collect reliable and valid indicators of of workplace events, consistently over time and across workplaces. This is not easy, writes IWH's Dr. Peter Smith, drawing on two studies about reporting patterns and challenges at Ontario's hospitals.
Published: Contact, April 2020
Journal article
Journal article

Time to return to work following workplace violence among direct healthcare and social workers

Published: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, March 2020
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IWH in the media

Workplace violence solutions for schools central to recent ETFO symposium

Participants from across Canada came together to discuss the most urgent health and safety concern facing education workers today—growing violence and harassment in schools. At the symposium, IWH Scientific Co-Director & Senior Scientist Dr. Peter Smith spoke of data showing the rise in workplace violence in Ontario is mainly experienced by women in the education sector.
Published: Workers Health & Safety Centre, February 2020
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Supporting hospital staff to manage aggressive patient behaviour: A randomized controlled trial

As in many other hospitals, staff at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital were experiencing high rates of workplace violence. In response, a multidisciplinary team developed a program to standardize practices for identifying and managing patients with aggressive behaviour. Given the dearth of evaluation studies on this type of workplace intervention, the team also set up a randomized controlled study on the program's effectiveness. They share results in this IWH Speaker Series presentation.
Published: November 2019
The Globe and Mail logo
IWH in the media

As teachers report more violent incidents in schools, boards struggle

In school boards across Canada, more educators say they’re being hurt on the job, according to data reviewed by The Globe and Mail. But there are gaps in data collection, and debates over the reasons for the rise in reports of violence, writes Carolyn Alphonso, citing IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Peter Smith.
Published: The Globe and Mail, September 2019
Journal article
Journal article

Assault predicts time away from work after claims for work-related mild traumatic brain injury

Published: Occupational & Environmental Medicine, May 2019
Close-up image of shattered glass window
At Work article

Workplace violence against women rising, driven by growing rates in education sector

Men working in health care were once the group most at risk of workplace violence. These day, it's women working in education who face the highest risks of being assaulted on the job.
Published: April 2019
The Conversation logo
IWH in the media

Women four times more likely to experience sexual assault at work

Violence-related injuries at work are on the rise across Canada and this is especially the case for women, according to two recent studies conducted at the not-for-profit Institute for Work and Health, writes IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Peter Smith.
Published: The Conversation, January 2019
Journal article
Journal article

Gender differences in injuries attributed to workplace violence in Ontario 2002-2015

Published: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January 2019
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IWH in the media

Women in education sector at greater risk of workplace violence

Women working in Ontario’s education sector are four to six times more likely than their male counterparts to require time off work because of being physically assaulted on the job, reports the Canadian Occupational Safety.
Published: Canadian Occupational Safety, August 2018