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April 17, 2013
Job violence rates higher for government workers

The rate of workplace violence for government employees was more than three times the rate for private sector workers in 2011. A new Department of Justice (DOJ) report found that local, county, state, and federal workers experienced 18 nonfatal violent crimes at work per 1,000 workers. That compares with 5.2 for other employees.

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According to the DOJ, that difference is due in part to the high rate of violence against public sector workers in law enforcement or security. As for homicides, about one in five victims of workplace homicide was a government employee in 2011. During that year, the private sector experienced 367 homicides, compared to 90 for government workers.

The report found that public and private sector employees were equally likely to be injured due to workplace violence.

The DOJ says that, overall, rates of workplace violence have declined substantially in public and private workplaces. The full report, Workplace Violence Against Government Employees, 1994–2011, is available from the department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. The website is http://www.bjs.gov.

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