41+ Facts and Statistics about Workplace Violence [2024]

November 23, 2023 0 Comments

Remember COVID-19?

And how it caused tons of casualties like death, millions of jobs lost, and an estimated global economic cost of up to $8.1 and $15.8 trillion

Although the acute epidemic brought by COVID has ended, there is still a silent epidemic lingering around the workplace.

This epidemic unfortunately affects the healthcare industry 5 times more than other industries. 

The alarming rates of workplace violence show over 50% reporting incidents in Australia, South Africa, and China.

Explore these key statistics to learn more.

Top Workplace Violence Statistics: Editor’s Pick

  1. More young women faced workplace violence & harassment than young men. [1]
  2. 43.4% of workers in low/lower-middle income countries face workplace violence & harassment globally. [1]
  3. Global healthcare workers encounter alarming levels of workplace violence. [3]
  4. 10% of employees in Korea experienced physical assault. [3]
  5. Finland reports the highest rates of workplace violence and harassment. [5
  6. Workplace violence in the U.S. was estimated to cost $4.2 billion annually. [7]
  7. Workplace violence’s economic impact averages over $120B+ yearly. [9]
workplace violence in US icurred an estimated annual cos of $4.2 billion

General Data on Workplace Violence

Did you know that 23% of working adults globally experience workplace violence?

That’s about 750 million workers enduring harassment or assault at work.

However, only half of them report these incidents.

The data shows widespread issues across different countries and industries.

We’ve gathered reports from different sources, and here’s what we found.

hundreds of millions encounter workplace violence

Over 23% faced violence or harassment at work [2]

750 million workers worldwide or 23% of employed adults reported experiencing at least one form of violence and harassment.

Those who encountered each of the three main forms of violence and harassment also amount to hundreds of millions. [2]

60.7% Women are more open about workplace harassment [1]

According to the data, only half of the worldwide victims shared their experiences, with the majority of those being women.

Most didn’t tell anyone because they thought it wouldn’t make a difference or because they were afraid of what others might think. [1]

18% faced psychological violence, harassment in their careers [1]

Additionally, 8.5% encountered physical violence and harassment, with more men than women experiencing this type.

Among the respondents, 6.3% reported facing sexual violence and harassment, particularly affecting women. [1]

10% in Korea faced physical assault at the office [3]

Reports indicate that those who experienced physical assault are mainly caused by stressed managers.

In India, the estimated rate of physical assault stands at 25%, commonly instigated by a manager or co-worker and often rooted in anger. [3]

Healthcare workers see high workplace violence [3]

With statistics indicating over 50% reporting incidents in Australia, South Africa, and China.

This pervasive issue demonstrates that no one within this profession is immune. [3]

Who’s Likely to Experience Violence?

We reviewed the numbers to see who might face violence at work.

Instead of just looking at one group, we looked at different things like age, gender, job, race, and how much money people make.

We’ve listed down the top 1 for each category. 

And here’s what we found:

Violence and harassment were most commonly experienced by younger people [1]

Globally, young people at work (ages 15–24) were most likely to experience violence and harassment within the past five years, with a rate of 23.3%.

This rate decreases with age, dropping from 20.2% among employed individuals aged 25–34 to 12.0% for those aged 55 years and older. 

Young women are more likely to face workplace violence than men [1]

More than 1 in 4 young women experienced violence and harassment at work in the last five years, while only 1 in 10 women aged 55 years or older reported similar experiences.

Similarly, 2 in 10 young men reported such incidents in the last five years, compared to a little over 1 in 10 men aged 55 years or older. [1]

Healthcare violence rates 5 times higher [4]

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the risk of injury due to workplace violence among healthcare workers is five times higher compared to other industries.

Shockingly, this rate increased by 63% from 2011 to 2018.

5 of the top 10 countries for workplace violence are nordic nations

Finland has the highest violence and harassment at work [5]

The World Risk Poll shows that in the top ten countries where people reported experiencing violence and harassment at work, all five Nordic nations are included.

These countries are found with high rates:

  • Finland (48%)
  • Iceland (42%)
  • Denmark (42%)
  • Norway (42%)
  • Sweden (37%)

In these countries, women are much more likely than men to say they’ve been affected.

The largest difference, a gap of 23% points, was seen in Denmark. [5]

43% in low income faced workplace violence [1]

In a survey conducted by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll, 43.4% of the low to lower-middle income says they experienced violence and harassment at work.

While 53.2% from upper to middle income and 69.2% reported from high income brackets. [1]

More educated people report higher workplace violence rates [6]

The survey conducted by The World Risk Poll shows, the percentage of those who reported violence/harassment at work:

  • 26% of university graduate respondents
  • 22% of secondary educated respondents
  • 18% of primary educated respondent workers

Financial Cost of Workplace Violence

The true cost of workplace violence is estimated around $120bn annually.

But when we examine the statistics, the effects go even further.

Employers face direct expenses like lost work time and increased security measures.

Moreover, there are indirect costs such as decreased efficiency, productivity, lower product quality, harm to the company’s reputation, and losing clients.

More details on this data are provided below.

Workplace violence costs $120 billion yearly [9]

The costs, both measurable and unmeasurable, are significantly steep.

Some estimates suggest that workplace violence causes an economic impact of over $120 billion annually on average.

According to OSHA, around two million Americans fall victim to workplace violence each year. [9]

The annual cost of workplace violence was estimated at $4.2 billion in the U.S. [7]

According to a university study from 2003, a serious violent incident in the workplace cost employers an average of $250,000, while less severe incidents, occurring more often, cost around $25,000 per incident.

The overall annual cost to American employers due to workplace violence was estimated at $4.2 billion. [7]

The hidden cost of workplace violence goes beyond money [8]

When employers neglect to address workplace violence, it leads to more than just financial costs.

It also causes mental and physical harm to the employees affected by violence.

Here are the hidden cost of violence at work:

  • Loss of Productivity 
  • Healthcare Costs
  • Absenteeism
  • Workplace Turnover
  • Reputation Damage
  • Legal Ramifications

What Do Employees Say?

The World Risk Poll, which surveyed over 133 million respondents worldwide, found that 17.9% of respondents experienced some form of workplace violence such as physical, psychological or sexual violence and harassment.

Many times, employees who face any type of violence or harassment are afraid to report these incidents.

Workplace violence and harassment on a global scale [1]

A source derived from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll reveals a survey conducted among a group of people who have experienced violence and harassment in the workplace.

3 forms of violence were conducted in the survey: psychological, physical, and sexual violence and harassment. 

Among those 17.9% employees faced psychological violence and harassment.

types of violence workers experienced

Globally, 55% of those who didn’t report violence and harassment thought it was a ‘waste of time’ [2]

In a poll conducted by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll, here are what most workers say why they didn’t report violence and harassment in the workplace.

reasons for not reporting workplace violence

FAQs about Workplace Violence

How widespread is workplace violence?

Globally, 23% of workers (750 million people) have experienced workplace violence or harassment. This includes psychological, physical, or sexual abuse.

What industries face the most violence?

Healthcare workers suffer violence at 5 times the rate of other industries.

What are the costs of workplace violence?

Workplace violence costs the U.S. economy $4.2 billion annually. Worldwide, the economic impact exceeds $120 billion per year from lost productivity and legal issues.

Who is most at risk of workplace violence?

Younger workers ages 15-24 face the highest rates globally at 23.3%. Women under 24 are more likely than young men to experience violence or harassment.

Why don’t victims report workplace violence?

Globally, 55% of victims believe reporting incidents would be a waste of time. Many fear retaliation or think complaints won’t make a difference.

Summary

The primary reason workplace violence often goes unnoticed is that people are afraid to report it.

While the estimated yearly financial impact is $120 billion, the aftermath also incurs significant expenses.

Workplace violence results in various costs such as healthcare, legal fees, insurance claims, lost business, and more.

This emphasizes the critical importance for organizations to diligently prevent violence in the workplace. It should be a top priority for them.

For further intriguing statistics, facts, and trends, we invite you to explore our website

Sources

  1. International Labour Organization. Experiences of Violence and Harassment at Work: A first global survey
  2. Gallup. Global Study: 23% of Workers Experience Violence, Harassment.
  3. Universal Class. The Impact Globally of Workplace Violence
  4. Forbes. Violence Against Healthcare Workers Is Rising: Here’s How We Can Protect Them
  5. The Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll. Five Nordic nations among top ten reporting violence and harassment at work.
  6. The Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll. Worldwide, men and women have different experiences of violence and harassment at work
  7. International Labour Organization. Violence at work – A major workplace problem
  8. Investopedia. Financial Impacts of Workplace Bullying
  9. OHS. A Shared Responsibility: Preventing Violence in the Workplace

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