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1,700 public service workers attacked in the last year

Posted in: Criminal Injury and Assault Workplace Injuries 

New figures have revealed that in the last year alone, a total of 1,700 Fife public service workers were violently assaulted while at work. The figures were released as part of UNISON’s annual survey of violent incidents, showing that in Fife 1,114 health board workers and 586 council employees were affected. It was also highlighted by the report that over the last eight years violent assaults on public service workers has almost doubled. 

The chairman of UNISON Scotland’s Health and Safety Committee, Scott Donohoe, said that better monitoring procedures needed to be introduced to help combat the issue. He said that this, combined with “effective workplace measures”, would greatly reduce the number of workers being assaulted.

UNISON’s Scottish organiser, Dave Watson, described the number of violent attacks happening against public service workers as “entirely unacceptable”.

‘100 attacks a day’

A total of 37,052 incidents of violence were reported to employers this year, a rise of 3,363 reports in the twelve months previous, and an increase of 17,000 from 2006 when records began. It has been recognised that around 100 attacks on service staff take place in Scotland daily.

It was highlighted by these new figures that the areas in which attacks have increased most are the areas that have suffered the most staffing cuts. Mr Watson said that having an overworked workforce only adds to the likelihood of staff members falling victim to violent assault.  

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