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Gender differences in injuries attributed to workplace violence in Ontario 2002–2015
  1. Cynthia Chen1,
  2. Peter M Smith1,2,3,
  3. Cameron Mustard1,2
  1. 1Institute for Work and Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Cynthia Chen, Institute for Work and Health, Toronto, ON M5G 2E9, Canada; cchen{at}


Objectives The aim of the study is to compare trends in the incidence of injury resulting from workplace violence for men and women at the population level over the period 2002–2015 among working-age adults in Ontario, Canada.

Methods Administrative records of injury resulting from workplace violence were obtained from two population-based data sources in Ontario: 21 228 lost-time workers’ compensation claims (2002–2015) and 13 245 records of non-scheduled emergency department visits (2004–2014), where the main problem was attributed to a workplace violence event. Denominator counts were estimated from labour force surveys conducted by Statistics Canada, stratified by age and sex. Age-standardised rates were calculated using the direct method.

Results Over the observation period, workplace violence incidence rates were in the range of 0.2–0.5 per 1000 full-time equivalent workers. Incidence rates of injury due to workplace violence among women increased over the observation period, with an average annual per cent change (APC) of 2.8% (95% CI 1.7% to 3.9%) in compensation claims and 2.7% (95% CI 1.0% to 4.4%) in emergency department visits. In contrast, there was no change in workplace violence injury rates among men in compensation claims (APC: −0.2% (95% CI −1.2% to 0.9%)) or in emergency department visits (APC: −0.5% (95% CI −1.6% to 0.6%)). A pronounced increase in workplace violence injury rates was observed in the education sector with an APC=7.0% (95% CI 5.6% to 8.5%) for women and an APC=4.1% (95% CI 0.9% to 7.4%) for men.

Conclusions Differences in the risk of injury resulting from workplace violence for women relative to men in Ontario between 2002 and 2015 were verified by two data sources. The relative risk of violence for men and women also differed across industries.

  • workplace violence
  • injury
  • gender

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  • Contributors PMS and CM conceived the study and the design of the study methods. CC contributed to the analysis of the study data and drafted the initial manuscript. All authors made editorial contributions to the final paper. All authors have participated sufficiently in the conception and writing of this manuscript, we consent to have our names on it.

  • Funding Funding support for this research was provided by a grant from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. The Institute for Work & Health operates with the support of the Province of Ontario.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province of Ontario.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval University of Toronto Health Sciences.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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