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Although fatal work-related assault injury rates are routinely reported in the United States, reports of non-fatal injuries are not routinely examined. Non-fatal workplace assault injuries can be reported through many agencies. One of the most common reporting mechanisms California is the Employer's Report of Occupational Illness and Injury. Employer's Reports filed from October 1, 1994 through January 31, 1995 in the state of California were the source of workplace assault information for this study. All reports indicating an assault-related injury were identified and characterized by gender and occupation of the victim, type of assault and weapon used, and industry. Annual rates were determined based on the number of estimated annual reports and the civilian working population. The estimated annual rate of workplace assault injuries for California based on Employer's Reports is 72.9 per 100, 000 workers, which is approximately 50 times the fatal rate. Rates differed by industry, with retail, hospital, transportation and police workers exhibiting the highest rates. Assaults were predominantly Type I, which involve criminal activity, and Type II, which involve an assault by a client, patient, or inmate. The rates of non-fatal work-related assault injury are much greater and have different characteristics than fatal injuries. These non-fatal injury patterns need to be considered when estimating the burden of assault injuries on businesses, and can help identify the most effective prevention strategies.

(C) Williams & Wilkins 1997. All Rights Reserved.