A longitudinal study of 80,000 Scandinavian workers has found an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in those who experienced bullying or violence at work.
Participants were aged between 18 and 65 and had no prior incidence of cardiovascular disease. At the beginning of the study, they were surveyed on their experiences (if any) of workplace bullying or violence.
The researchers regularly reviewed participants on their exposure to workplace bullying or violence. They also followed the incidence of cardiovascular disease, including first hospitalisations for coronary heart disease or cerebrovascular disease. The results were surprising:
- Workplace bullying in the previous year was linked to a 59% higher risk of cardiovascular disease while workplace violence was linked to a 25% increase in risk
- Workers who were bullied almost daily in the previous 12 months had a 120% higher risk of cardiovascular disease when compared to those who were not bullied
- 79% of all bullying and 9% of violence was instigated by work colleagues
According to the lead author of the research, Tianwei Xu, a doctoral student at the University of Copenhagen, “It’s important to prevent workplace bullying and violence from happening as they constitute major stressors for those exposed. It’s also important to have policies for intervening if bullying or violence occurs.”
Taking A Two-Pronged Approach
A common sense approach to workplace bullying and violence requires a 2-pronged approach:
- Educate and inform staff on what constitutes bullying and violence so they know what they shouldn’t do
- Documenting and implementing procedures on how to handle claims of bullying and violence so the problem can be quickly resolved
This is just one of the ways End2End Business Solutions assists clients. If you suspect there is a problem in your business, or you would like to avoid problems occurring, get in touch by calling (02) 8977 4002.