Shocking Violence at Work Statistics
The public sector union, UNISON, has produced a new report entitled “Struggling to Cope” which, in large part, continues its theme in exposing the significant risk that many people, particularly in the public sector, experience from being assaulted at work. The report notes that 1 in 4 people in the United Kingdom experience a mental health problem each year. The union notes that with an increasing number of people with mental health conditions, it is often those who care for these people who are exposed to a rise in violence meted out on them.
“Struggling to Cope” has been, in large part, based upon a survey which UNISON conducted. The union noted that there was a common theme amongst its members caring for people with mental health problems, that verbal and/or physical aggression towards those carers happened on an almost daily basis. Of those who undertook the survey, 42% stated that they had been the subject of a violent or aggressive incident from a service user/patient in the last year, with a number suffering from physical assaults. Around 36% of the people who responded to the survey claim to have witnessed a colleague being the victim of a violent incident caused by a service user.
The survey highlights that lone working and cuts to budgets have led to an increase in violence at work. 36% of those surveyed felt that violent incidents had become increasingly frequent in the last year, with 87% citing a lack of staff as the reason for the increase in assaults on their colleagues. Half of those surveyed also thought that the overuse of agency staff, who were unable to get to know patients with mental health problems sufficiently well enough, was a reason for the increase in attacks at work.
28% of those surveyed were of the opinion that a lack of training, particularly in de-escalation techniques, was a factor in the rise of violence-at-work incidents. 12% of respondents to this survey had not received de-escalation training when it was, in fact, mandatory for their role. This, of course, meant that in the event that a service user or patient was violent with them, they did not know how to calm the situation down.
Alarmingly, only 38% of staff who’d been the subject of a violent or aggressive episode felt supported by their manager after the event. With 32% of people surveyed stating that they did not even report the violent incident at work, because there were too many, it is likely that the violence-at-work statistics held by the various NHS Trusts is likely to be significantly lower than it ought to be.
In part, due to the level of violence meted out on public sector workers who work with patients with mental health issues, almost half were planning to leave working in the mental health sector. Positively, and perhaps unsurprisingly, 67% of those surveyed found that their work in the mental health sector was particularly rewarding.
If you are working in the mental health sector and you have been the victim of an assault at work which has caused you either a physical and/or psychological injury, then you may wish to explore the possibility of bringing a claim for that assault at work. Truth Legal are specialists in assault-at-work compensation because we understand the need to fully comprehend how you work, what particular issues each service user or patient has, and the need for specialist control and restraint and de-escalation training which your job likely requires of you. Assault-at-work compensation claims are complicated, and it is essential that your specialist personal injury solicitor understands your job, so they may accurately assess your prospects of winning your case.
If you wish to have a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our specialist assault-at-work solicitors, please contact us to arrange a consultation at a time convenient for you.