Care workers suffer 6,000 serious injuries from violence at work, new figures show

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Care workers suffered more than 6,000 violent attacks resulting in serious injuries during the last five years, new official figures show.

The statistics, which were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are being released as GMB’s Annual Congress begins in Brighton this week.

Between the financial years 2013/14 to 2017/18, 6,034 violent attacks on care workers resulting in serious injury were reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

5,008 workers were so seriously injured they had to take at least seven days off work.

A further 1,026 carers suffered a ‘specified’ injury – which can include fractures, loss of sight, brain damage, loss of consciousness, asphyxia, or amputation.

The true rates are likely to be much higher, as the HSE warns that ‘non-fatal injuries are substantially under-reported.’

Violent attacks account for a third of reports for residential care workers – compared to just 7 per cent of reports for all workers.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “Our members often tell us about the abuse they have to face at work – and these figures back them up.

“These statistics are the tip of the iceberg – they only include the most serious injuries, and our members have to deal with violence on a daily basis.

“But care work is much more than a job – our members love their work and want to carry on doing their best for those they look after.

“Unfortunately, our members are sometimes put under unacceptable pressure to keep working after an attack when they should be receiving care themselves.

“Care is crucial. For each of us individually, our parents, grandparents, kids, friends and neighbours, but too often the sector is overlooked and the people working in care treated less than the frontline professionals that they are.”

Picture (c) PA Wire.