ONE million Britons experienced workplace violence in the last two years, according to new research carried out by Plymouth and Cardiff Universities.
The report; “Insight into ill-treatment in the workplace: patterns, causes and solutions”, is based on data from the British Workplace Behaviour Survey, gathered in 2008 from interviews by the market research company TNS Global.
Plymouth Business School and Cardiff’s School of Social Sciences analysed the results of face-to-face interviews with nearly 4,000 employees, representative of the British workforce.
They found 4.9 per cent had suffered violence in the workplace – the equivalent of more than one million workers – with 3.8 per cent injured. 22.3% of those interviewed said they were treated in a disrespectful or rude way.
The study shows that violence is a more regular feature of working life than previously thought. Assault was a daily experience for 13 per cent of those who reported violence. Most of the attackers came from outside the workplace, with 72 per cent of assailants being customers, clients or members of the public. Workers in health and social work, education, and public administration and defence, were most at risk. Workers in the private sector were more likely to suffer assaults by colleagues.
Prof Ralph Fevre of Cardiff University, one of the report’s authors, said: “Sadly, our study shows that violence, ill-treatment and unreasonable behaviour are all too common in Britain’s workplaces”.
“Many managers saw staff welfare as low on their list of priorities, while some even felt ill-treatment of staff was expected of them”, he continued.
“We suggest that managers need to have standards of good treatment and civility built in as an essential part of their roles”.
The findings will be presented at a seminar tonight, organised by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the Festival of Social Science in London.
Skyguard’s Marketing Director, Will Murray added, “We welcome the increase in awareness that this report will generate, on a subject that is often overlooked by Senior Managers”.
“British workers should not be subjected to violence and disrespectful behaviour when going about their daily job, particularly when there are cost effective solutions such as Skyguard’s service which can both protect them and lead to conviction of the perpetrators”.
The full report, Insight into ill-treatment in the workplace: patterns, causes and solutions can be found by clicking here.
You can get more information on Skyguard’s range of personal safety devices, or call 0845 0360 999.