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Healthcare workers at much higher risk of violence at work

Data from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) shows incidents involving aggression, fright, shock or violence accounted for 5 per cent of non-fatal injuries reported in 2014. However, such events were much more common in the health and social work sector, where they accounted for 17 per cent (250) of reported incidents.

From 2010 to 2014 inclusive, the human health and social work activities sector reported the highest number of non-fatal ‘over three-day’ incidents to the HSA in comparison with other economic sectors, the Authority confirmed to MI. In 2014, the sector accounted for 19.8 per cent of reported non-fatal incidents.

A total of 1,212 non-fatal work accidents reported to the Authority in 2014 were from hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

The three main accident triggers reported year-on-year to the HSA (2010 to 2014) from the human health and social work activities sector were manual handling; slips, trips and falls; and violence and aggression. These are ‘over three-day’ incidents. These three accident triggers account for approximately two-thirds of all accidents reported from this sector each year.

A total of seven workers employed in the health and social care sector died in workplace accidents during the past decade, HSA data also shows. The sector also had the highest rate of illness out of all sectors in 2013 — 49 per 1,000 workers.

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