We have been tracking and reporting in our blog about workplace bullying and other emerging workplace safety and health issues. Much of our reporting has centered on the definitions and examples of these new threats, but also where legislation has been developed and where claims have been brought forward. The reality of these concerns is what makes these issues more jarring. We often think of these issues as something that is reported in papers but not close to us.
Surprisingly, workplace bullying, harassment, violence, and stress have now become one of the top concerns of workers. Some statistics help explain these concerns:
Overall, approximately one in ten European workers report having experienced some form of workplace violence, either physical or psychological, in the previous 12 months, with levels of reported psychological violence as high as those of physical violence. The incidence of threats of physical violence tends to be higher than exposure to actual physical abuse.
In the United States, a 2010 Zogby International poll indicated that over 34% of adults said they had been bullied at work. One out of three employees in the United States feels he/she has been bullied on the job, according to the Department of Labor. Among types of psychological violence, workplace bullying/harassment is more prevalent than sexual harassment.
A recent U.S. Department of Labor survey of employers with 1,000 or more workers revealed that more than 50% reported at least one incident of workplace violence during the preceding 12-month period. OSHA states that nearly 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year, though many cases are not reported.