THE MULTI-SOURCE ORIGINS OF WORK-RELATED VIOLENCE AND AGGRESSION AND THEIR IMPACT ON HEALTH OUTCOMES AND BEHAVIOURS
Santos, A., Chua, S. and Leather, P., University of Nottingham, UK
There is growing recognition that violence and aggression constitutes one of the most serious occupational hazards in the contemporary workplace. What is perhaps not so obvious to managers, administrators and the general public, is that workplace violence and aggression has multiple sources. The most fundamental differentiation is that between violence from within the organisation as opposed to violence stemming from extraneous sources. When setting out to assess the full extent of the hazard represented by workplace violence, it is therefore important to measure the scale and consequences of all sources of violence to which employees are potentially involved. This paper demonstrates the importance of considering multiple sources of potential violence and aggression by providing illustrative data from two particularly 'at risk' groups of workers: police officers and health care employees (nurses, doctors, professions allied to medicine etc). Multiple regression analyses are utilised to show the individual and cumulative impact of such violence upon a range of well-being outcomes including general indicators of sub-optimal health, symptoms of post- traumatic health disorder, burnout and health-related coping behaviour e.g. alcohol consumption and smoking rates). The conclusion drawn is that work- related violence is indeed a major occupational health hazard facing contemporary society and that any efforts to successfully manage it - aimed either at preventing it or helping the recovery of those exposed to it - must be built upon a sound and accurate assessment and analysis of all its potential sources.