Which jobs carry the highest risk of workplace violence?

The more contact you have with the public, the greater the risk you face.

The 2014/15 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) found that the most high-risk occupations are workers in protective service occupations. This group includes police officers, fire service officers, prison service officers and police community support officers (PCSOs). They faced nearly a 10% chance of being assaulted or threatened when at work, making them the most at risk group of workers – at 9.6% their risk is eight times the average of 1.2%.

Health care professionals and health and social care specialists had higher than average risk at 3.1% and 3.4% respectively and have consistently had higher than average risk rates over the last number of years. 

Other professions with higher risk include transport and mobile machine drivers at 3.0%. The following professions have consistently had higher than average risk rates over the last number of years:

  • security guards and the police services;
  • nurses and other health professionals;
  • careworkers;
  • public transport workers;
  • catering and hotel workers;
  • benefits staff;
  • teachers;
  • shopworkers; and
  • managers and personnel officers.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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