62% surveyed did nothing after witnessing abusive behaviour.


Learn about the Issues and Solutions

Statistics about Co-worker abuse

In December 2014, over 1600 health care workers in the areas of Combined Laboratory and X-Ray Technology, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Hearing Aid Practitioners, Nursing and Physiotherapy participated in a survey exploring the subject of co-worker abuse in Alberta.

Here is what you told us:

85% of you have witnessed a co-worker treating other staff members abusively at some point in your career.

97% of you have witnessed this abusive behaviour in the last year.

80% of you have been treated abusively by a colleague, 78% of those within the past year.

41% of you have experienced abusive behaviour from your immediate supervisor or manager.

Only 40% of you have approached the colleague who was abusing you to discuss the behaviour. Of that group, 41% of you did say that discussion was successful in stopping the behaviour.

62% of you did nothing about the abusive behaviour out of concern that nothing would change.

53% of you felt your work setting tolerated abusive co-worker behaviour.

The participating partners in this program believe we can turn the tide and reduce the numbers in our province. The first step is to begin talking about it, and then use the information and tools we have provided.

Together we can all make a positive difference.



1. College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta. White Paper: Mental injury in the Healthcare Workplace. Retrieved from: http://www.clpna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/doc_White_Paper_Mental_Injury_in_the_Healthcare_Workplace.pdf

2. Physiotherapy Alberta Resource Materials. Retrieved from: https://www.physiotherapyalberta.ca/course_materials/ohs_module_6_handout.pdf

3. Alberta Government Alberta Learning Information Service. Tips for employees on what you need to know about bullying in the workplace. Retrieved from: https://alis.alberta.ca/ep/eps/tips/tips.html?EK=11608

4. Alberta Government Alberta Learning Information Service. Tips for employers on what you need to know about bullying in the workplace. Retrieved from: https://alis.alberta.ca/ep/eps/tips/tips.html?EK=11594

5. Alberta Human Rights Commission. General workplace harassment. Retrieved from: http://www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/employment/employer_info/issues_outside_hr_law/workplace_harassment.asp

6. Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2013). Issue: Workplace. Retrieved from: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/Pages/Mentalhealthintheworkplace.aspx

7. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Mental Health at Work. Retrieved from: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/mentalhealth_work.html

8. Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2010). The Shain Reports on Psychological Safety in the Workplace – A Summary. http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/node/493

9. Work Safe Alberta Occupational Health and Safety. (n.d.) Teacher Resources: Psychological Hazards. Retrieved from: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/documents/OHS-Teacher-Resource-Binder-Chapter07.pdf

10. Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2012). Changing directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada. Retrieved from: http://strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca/pdf/strategy-text-en.pdf

11. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. (2005). Bullying in the Workplace. Retrieved from : http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/bullying.html

12. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety. (2004). Workplace Bullying Harms Both Employees and Employers. Health and Safety Report, 2(8), August. Retrieved from: http://www.ccohs.ca/newsletters/hsreport/issues/2004/08/ezine.html

13. Online resources for developing a code of conduct. Retrieved from: American Medical Association: www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/organized-medical-staff-section/helpful-resources/disruptive-behaviour.shtml