OTTAWA (CP) - Almost one in five violent incidents - including physical assault, sexual assault and robbery - occurred in the victim's workplace in 2004, a new study says.
There were more than 356,000 violent incidents in the workplace in Canada and most - 71 per cent - were classified as physical assaults, says the Statistics Canada study.
It found men and women were equally likely to have experienced workplace violence, but men were more likely to be injured.
Workplace violence was more common in certain employment sectors: a third of incidents involved a victim working in social assistance or health-care services such as hospitals, nursing or residential care facilities, it said.
The study also found a high proportion of incidents against those working in accommodation or food services, retail or wholesale trade, and educational services sectors.
Violent workplace incidents were twice as likely to be reported to police as those that occurred outside the workplace (37 per cent to 17).
Overall, 57 per cent of violent workplace incidents involving male victims were reported to the police while police were called in only 20 per cent of those involving female victims.
In nearly nine in 10 cases, victims of workplace violence said they told a co-worker about the incident. In about two-thirds of the incidents, victims said they told family, and also in about two-thirds of the incidents, they told friends or neighbours. They told a doctor or a nurse 20 per cent of the time.
Outside the workplace, victims sought support from a co-worker 30 per cent of the time, family in 47 per cent of incidents, friends or neighbours in 76 per cent of incidents, and a doctor or nurse in six per cent.
The study used data from the 2004 General Social Survey that questioned respondents in about 24,000 households about the prevalence of violence for three offences (physical assault, sexual assault and robbery) in the previous 12 months.
The study considered a "workplace" a commercial or institutional establishment, such as a restaurant or bar, a school, a commercial or office building, a factory, a store, a hospital or a prison.

Copyright 2007 Canadian Press