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Factors influencing workplace violence risk among correctional health workers: Insights from an Australian survey
journal contributionposted on 20.04.2018, 00:00 by AW Cashmore, D Indig, SE Hampton, Desley Hegney, BB Jalaludin
Little is known about the environmental and organisational determinants of workplace violence in correctional health settings. This paper describes the views of health professionals working in these settings on the factors influencing workplace violence risk. All employees of a large correctional health service in New South Wales, Australia, were invited to complete an online survey. The survey included an open-ended question seeking the views of participants about the factors influencing workplace violence in correctional health settings. Responses to this question were analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. Participants identified several factors that they felt reduced the risk of violence in their workplace, including: appropriate workplace health and safety policies and procedures; professionalism among health staff; the presence of prison guards and the quality of security provided; and physical barriers within clinics. Conversely, participants perceived workplace violence risk to be increased by: low health staff-to-patient and correctional officer-to-patient ratios; high workloads; insufficient or underperforming security staff; and poor management of violence, especially horizontal violence. The views of these participants should inform efforts to prevent workplace violence among correctional health professionals. © La Trobe University 2016.