In Sweden, although injuries due to occupational violence have decreased during the last 10 years, it is still the second most common precursor to traumatic injuries in the workplace (Larsson et al, 2009). The association between violence at work and fatality is well documented in the U.S. literature (Baker et al, 1982, Bell, 1991, Cone et al, 1991, Toscano and Windau, 1994) and the link is particularly clear for occupational groups carrying arms.
Several questions in relation to the prevention of the occupationally related violence among police officers and security guards would be of interest. What type of typical accident processes are facing police officers? Are the risks age-dependent? Are female police officers at a higher risk of injury compared to their male colleagues? Does the risk depend on the characteristics of the duty? Does the severity of the injury differ between accident processes?
There is little empirical research focusing specifically on the relation between severity of the injury due to violence against police officers and different accident processes leading to traumatic injury. Some studies have analysed the potential dangerousness of domestic disturbance calls (Grennan, 1987, Uchida et al., 1987, Ellis et al., 1993). Rabe-Hemp and Schuck, (2007) analysed violence against police officers focusing on gender differences in assaults on officers, as well as situational and individual factors related to the assault. Their findings suggest that compared to male officers, female officers are at a greater risk of being assaulted in family conflict situations. These results contradict the hypothesis that the need to assert authority may increase the likelihood of violence (Toch, 1992), since having more female officers are thought and found to influence how officers interact with members of the public (Steffensmeier, 1979, Van Wormer, 1981).
In this paper, we analyze the full text of occupational injury claims of police officers and security guards in the context of threat and violence leading to traumatic injury. Both occupational groups are analysed separately in terms of risk exposure, gender and age. The analysis is based on the total Swedish National workers’ compensation insurance material (100% coverage of the occupational groups) and the full free-text of the accident process, as depicted on the claims form, by using text-mining analysis.