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Data reveals increase in number of attacks on staff

15 October 2007

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New figures show there were more than 25,000 attacks on health and local government workers in Scotland last year.

The research reveals the number of assaults on staff has jumped by nearly 2,000, up 8.5% from 2006.

Public service union Unison obtained the data from health boards and local authorities across Scotland, and found the number of attacks rose from 23,272 to 25,157 over the 12-month period.

The research was published at a health and safety conference at Stirling Royal Infirmary.

And a union spokesman said employers are not taking the threat of violence against their staff seriously.

Unison Scottish organiser Dave Watson said: “All the positive advertising campaigns in the world cannot have the impact they should unless employers encourage reporting, collect and monitor information on violent incidents.”

And despite highlighting this problem, it actually seems to have worsened in the past 12 months, Mr Watson said.

He went on: “If no one is adding up the numbers, authorities can have no idea how many assaults are taking place in any area.”

As well as urging greater vigilance from employers, Unison is also calling for the Emergency Workers Act to be extended.

The union wants it to cover more public service workers who are at risk, including community health and mental health workers.

Copyright © PA Business 2007


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