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The International Labour Organization (ILO) says that Canada high in the world for workplace violence such as assault and sexual harassment.

The ILO report, released in mid-July, included a 1996 international survey which interviewed more than 2,000 Canadian employees. In the survey 9.7 per cent of women said they had been victims of “sexual incidents”. Also, 5 per cent of the Canadian women interviewed and 3.9 per cent of the men reported they had been assaulted at work.

Assault included threats and bullying and not necessarily physical violence, while sexual incidents ranged from leering, to sexual innuendo, to rape.

The report cites a 1994 CUPE Health and Safety survey which showed that nearly 70 per cent of the respondents claimed “verbal aggression” was the leading form of violence against employees. Around 40 per cent said they were struck and about 30 per cent were actually hit, grabbed or scratched.

“Ten years ago violence at work was considered part of the job,” CUPE Health and Safety Officer, Anthony Pizzino, told the media. “These days however, more people recognize workplace violence as an occupational hazard”