Workplace Violence in Hospitals

by inter posted Aug 26, 2008


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The Situation of Workplace Violence in Hospitals


Korean Health & Medical Workers Union (KHMU) surveyed the situation of workplace violence in hospitals.

For the survey, KHMU distributed the questionnaires to 1680 members working in 48 hospitals between March and May 2008.

The responses were analyzed in July with the help of experts on the issue. 


The breakup of respondents for the survey is as follows:

l  women 90 percent (1364 respondents) and men 10 percent (152 ones) in gender;

l  nurses 69 percent, nursing aid 7 percent, administration workers 5 percent and others 5 percent in jobs;

l  regular workers 97 percent, directly-employed non-regular workers 2 percent and indirectly-employed ones (such as agency worker) 1 percent in employment type. 


The results of the survey are as follows:


15.0 percent of respondents say that they have been exposed to sexual harassment. 53 percent of the wrong-doers are doctors and 14 percent patients or patients’ family. The places where sexual harassment happened are the place for social meeting with coworkers outside hospital after work (34 percent), wards (32 percent), operating rooms (9 percent) and medical rooms (6 percent).


53 percent of respondents say that there is no internal mechanism to protect workers from sexual harassment at work, while 45 percent of respondents say that protective education and information concerning the harassment have been provided by hospitals.


13.8 percent of respondents say that they have experienced abusive languages or physical violence at work. 53.5 percent of the wrong doers are doctors. 


In order to remove workplace violence, KHMU demands the followings in the 2008 CBA:

1.      Education on workplace violence and sexual harassment must be expanded to doctors and patients’ family.

2.      Training system to provide the relevant education must be established.

3.      Regulatory institutions to eliminate workplace violence must be strengthened.


Photo: KHMU workers has a rally in front of the National Labor Relations Commission on 31 July 2008.