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429 Analysis of hospital admissions for workplace violence in Victoria, Australia: 2009/10–2020/21
  1. Voula Stathakis
  1. VISU (Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit), Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), Monash University, Australia


Background Workplace violence and aggression is an important occupational health and safety concern. It can occur in any industry but is most common in the health, aged care, disability, youth services, education, law enforcement, retail trade and food services, hospitality, security and cash-handling industries.

Aims To provide an overview of workers experiencing serious occupational violence-related injury in various sectors, resulting in hospital admission. The analysis will examine incidence, mechanisms of injury, type of workplace setting, and injury description across the fifteen-year study period.

Methods Routinely collected Victorian hospital admissions data (public and private) from 2009/10–2020/21 were analysed. Records were extracted using relevant ICD-10-AM external cause, intent, activity and place of occurrence codes indicating work-related intentional injury.

Results There were 2091 hospital admissions during the fifteen-year study period; ages were mostly (55.4%) in the range of 20–39 years; the average age was 38.1 years [95%CI 37.5, 38.9] for men and 40.0 years [95%CI 38.7, 41.3] for women. Males accounted for 81.0% of admissions. The most commonly coded injury cause was being struck by another person (68.2%), struck by a blunt object (10.4%) or sharp object (9.6%). Activity codes indicated the health services sector as the most common industry affected (12.9% of admissions), followed by the transport sector (8.9%) and retail/trade industry (6.9%). Notably, 66% of records were coded under ‘other & unspecified’ sectors.

Conclusions Workplace violence in the state of Victoria over the fifteen-year study period was common, resulting in 139.4 hospital admissions per year. Workers in the health care industry, customer service/retail and transport industries were particularly at risk of serious injury with admission numbers remaining consistently high across the study period.

Learning Outcomes Injury prevention strategies should continue to focus on workers within the health care industry, however, similar strategies are also needed for those who work in the retail/customer service and transport sectors.

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