Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rate Of Violence Against Educators Is Twice The Rate Of Violence Against All Workers

From US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review 100 Years, Featured Article, August 2016, "Putting violence in perspective: how safe are America’s educators in the workplace?"
Out of the 8.4 million workers employed in the education, training, and library occupations throughout the United States in 2014, 27 died on the job and 36,540 had nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses that resulted in days away from work. Compared with all workers in the United States, those in the education, training, and library occupations (henceforth referred to as “educators”) were at less risk of both fatal injuries and nonfatal injuries and illnesses. The fatal injury incidence rate for educators, at 0.4 per 100,000 workers, was significantly lower than the rate for all workers (3.4 per 100,000 workers). Likewise, the nonfatal injury and illness incidence rate for educators for days away from work was 59 cases per 10,000 full-time workers and was almost half the rate for all workers at 107.1 per 10,000 full-time workers. All work injuries and illnesses are unfortunate, but among them, events of violence and other injuries by persons or animals (henceforth referred to as “violent events”) stand out as preventable. Violent events from 2011 through 2014 composed 27 percent (29 deaths) of the fatal injuries of educators. In 2014, they composed 24 percent of the nonfatal days-away-from-work cases (8,620 cases) that educators experienced. This article explores occupational fatal injuries and nonfatal injuries and illnesses that resulted in days away from work for educators, with a focus on violent events.

Types of violent events affecting educators
For this article, violent events are considered any event that falls into event category 1 in the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System 2.01 coding structure. This category includes all intentional injuries (homicides and suicides), injuries involving weapons, and injuries from direct physical contact by another person or oneself. From 2011 through 2014, 109 educators were fatally injured on the job. Violent events accounted for 27 percent of fatal injuries (29 deaths) to educators and were the second most frequent type of fatal incident after transportation incidents (see figure 1). Of the educators who were fatally injured in violent events from 2011 through 2014, 69 percent (20 of the 29) were employed in state or local government. Of the 29 violent deaths, 25 were reported as intentional injuries by persons (this category includes injuries by other persons and self-inflicted injuries or suicides). Self-inflicted intentional injuries numbered 13 of the 29 violent fatalities (45 percent), and intentional injuries (i.e., homicides) by other person were the second most common fatal violent event, with 12 fatalities. Among the educators who were victims of homicides from 2011 through 2014, eight occurred as intentional shootings by other persons (67 percent). Four cases were classified as “injury by other person—unintentional or intent unknown.” These cases can include accidental shootings or physical contact during activities such as sports or attempts to restrain another person.

Of the 36,540 nonfatal injuries and illnesses that resulted in days away from work reported in 2014 for educators, nearly a quarter (8,620 cases) were the result of violent events (see figure 2). The share of the number of violent events to all nonfatal days-away-from-work cases was more than three times higher for educators than for all workers in the United States in 2014. Also, the incidence rate of violent events among educators (13.9 per 10,000 full-time workers) was almost twice the incidence rate (6.8) of violent events for all workers in the United States. Compared with major occupation groups with high rates of violent nonfatal events, educators were at low risk. For example, protective service workers (such as police officers or fire fighters) or healthcare support workers (such as home health aides or personal care assistants) had higher rates, at least by a factor of two, of violent events at work than educators (see table 1). [Empahsis added.] [Footnotes Omitted.]