Workplace violence (WPV) is an occupational health hazard in both low and high income countries. To design WPV prevention programs, prior knowledge and understanding of conditions in the targeted population are essential. This study explores and describes the views of drivers and conductors on the causes of WPV and ways of preventing it in the road passenger transport sector in Maputo City, Mozambique.
The design was qualitative. Participants were purposefully selected from among transport workers identified as victims of WPV in an earlier quantitative study, and with six or more years of experience in the transport sector. Data were collected in semi-structured interviews. Seven open questions covered individual views on causes of WPV and its prevention, based on the interviewees' experiences of violence while on duty. Thirty-two transport professionals were interviewed. The data were analyzed by means of qualitative content analysis.
The triggers and causes of violence included fare evasion, disputes over revenue owing to owners, alcohol abuse, overcrowded vehicles, and unfair competition for passengers. Failures to meet passenger expectations, e.g. by-passing parts of a bus route or missing stops, were also important. There was disrespect on the part of transport workers, e.g. being rude to passengers and jumping of queues at taxi ranks, and there were also robberies. Proposals for prevention included: training for workers on conflict resolution, and for employers on passenger-transport administration; and, promoting learning among passengers and workers on how to behave when traveling collectively. Regarding control and supervision, there were expressed needs for the recording of mileage, and for the sanctioning of workers who transgress queuing rules at taxi ranks. The police or supervisors should prevent drunken passengers from getting into vehicles, and drivers should refuse to go to dangerous, secluded neighborhoods. Finally, there is a need for an institution to judge alleged cases of employees not handing over demanded revenues to their employer.
The causes of WPV lie in problems regarding money, behavior, environment, organization and crime. Suggestions for prevention include education, control to avoid critical situations, and a judicial system to assess malpractices. Further research in the road passenger transport sector in Maputo City, Mozambique and similar settings is warranted.