Occupational violence and morbidity pattern of commercial road transport workers in Portharcourt, Rivers State Nigeria
Background: Commercial road transport workers are frequently exposed to workplace violence (WPV) - an issue of public health concern in literarily all occupations involving interactions with members of the public. The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of workplace violence among commercial drivers and conductors in Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers state Nigeria.
Methods: Following ethical approval, 150 consenting commercial road transport workers were recruited to participate in this cross-sectional study. They responded to previously validated interviewer administered questionnaire which probed socio-demographics, experience of workplace violence and workplace violence reporting. Collected data were analysed using descriptive tools.
Results: There was a high prevalence of workplace psychological (85.3%) and physical (60.7%) violence experienced by respondents in the preceding twelve months. The most common perpetrators of physical violence were passengers in 44% of the cases studied and experiences of workplace physical violence took place mainly at the passengers destination especially while the vehicles were in motion and respondents were driving. As much as 71.4% of WPV cases were not reported and only 19.2% of the perpetrators were arrested out of the 80.8% reports that were made to the appropriate authorities.
Conclusion: The prevalence of workplace violence is high among this occupational group. There is urgent need for passenger-transporter education and application of prescribed penalties for all proven infringements.
Keywords: Workplace violence (WPV), commercial drivers, perpetrators