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Understanding workplace violence and its prevention in New Zealand: The 2011 New Zealand workplace violence survey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 December 2013

Tim A Bentley*
Affiliation:
Work Research Institute of New Zealand, Faculty of Business and Law, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand Healthy Work Group, School of Management, Massey University, Albany Campus, NSMC, Auckland, New Zealand
Bevan E Catley
Affiliation:
Healthy Work Group, School of Management, Massey University, Albany Campus, NSMC, Auckland, New Zealand
Darryl Forsyth
Affiliation:
Healthy Work Group, School of Management, Massey University, Albany Campus, NSMC, Auckland, New Zealand
David C Tappin
Affiliation:
Healthy Work Group, School of Management, Massey University, Albany Campus, NSMC, Auckland, New Zealand
*
Corresponding author: tim.bentley@aut.ac.nz

Abstract

This exploratory study examined the workplace violence problem in a sample of 96 New Zealand organisations. Just over one-half of participating organisations reported cases of violence, with a total of nearly 2,500 cases reported in 2009. The incidence rate for all violence cases was high compared with internationally reported rates. Highest violence incidence rates and lost-time were reported for the health sector, where patients, customers/clients and family members were rated as sources of violence of particularly high importance. Risk factors with highest mean importance ratings were related to exposure to unstable persons, including: alcohol and drug use, harassment, and mental and physical instability/distress. Workload and time-pressure were also identified as risk factors for some organisations. Just 50% of organisations formally recognised violence as a hazard in the workplace, while interventions were largely limited to employee training and technological factors.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management 2013 

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