Violence and threats pack a punch in workplace woes top five

assaults and threats are the fastest growing health and safety concern in the
workplace, new TUC research shows.

figures, from the 2002 TUC survey of 5,000 union-appointed safety reps, show
that the top five workplace health and safety concerns are:

overwork or stress – 55 per cent

repetitive strain injury (RSI) – 37 per cent

display screen equipment – 34 per cent

back strains – 31 per cent

violence and threats – 30 per cent

top four hazards have headed the biennial poll since 1996, but this is the
first year that violence has been ranked as one of the top five workplace
hazards (it was eighth in 2000).

general secretary John Monks said: "Stress is still the biggest health and
safety problem facing workers, and RSI and back strain are major problems too.
But the increase in worries about violence, which reflects actual increases in
the number of assaults on workers, is especially troubling.

many workers face the threat of violence when they go to work, and in some
jobs, the only question is ‘when’ will you get attacked, not ‘whether’. Workers
are facing a rising tide of violence and employers haven’t got to grips with
the threat. Individual acts of violence are random, but violence itself is all
too predictable in some jobs. That means the risk of violence can and should be
assessed, managed and reduced."

Quentin Reade

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