Just as the Labour Party pledges tougher sentences for offenders assaulting someone carrying out a public duty, such as a nurse in casualty or a teacher in the classroom, new figures show that it is the public sector which bears the brunt of such workplace attacks.A new survey on conflict in the workplace shows that it is the health and social care sector which reports the greatest incidents of aggressive or abusive behaviour.
Recruitment and training firm Lawrence Allison commissioned the study from the University of Central Lancashire. It shows that other occupational groups facing aggression and abuse at work are local government workers, manufacturing and retail workers.
Worryingly, the survey also found a low instance of workplace violence being seen as a management problem. As few as 35% of organisations surveyed kept records of such incidents, and more than a quarter had no policy for dealing with violence and aggression in the workplace.
The study recommends encouraging employees to report incidents in order to establish a true picture of violence and aggression as well as bullying and harassment in the workplace. It also recommends proper assessments of risk for those in areas where are attacks are likely or possible.