Design and methods:
A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was administered to employees in 14 of 17 Norwegian ministries 9–10 months after the 2011 bombing of the government headquarters in Oslo (n = 3520).
About 198 of 1881 employees completing the survey were at work when the bomb exploded. Regression analysis showed that this high-exposed group had elevated perceived threat (β = 0.36; 95% CI = 0.19 to 0.53) and reduced perceived safety (β = −0.42; 95% CI = −0.62 to −0.23) compared to a reference group of employees not at work.
After adjusting for posttraumatic stress reactions, however, proximity to the explosion no longer mattered, whereas posttraumatic stress was associated with both high perceived threat (β = 0.55; 95% CI = 0.48 to 0.63) and low perceived safety (β = −0.71; 95% CI, −0.80 to −0.63).
Terror-exposed employees feel more threatened and less safe after a workplace terrorist attack, and this is closely linked to elevated levels of posttraumatic stress reactions.