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2 July 2015
 July 2, 2015
Annual workplace fatalities published

HSE Releases Annual Workplace Fatalities

Provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents in Great Britain’s workplaces shows small change from previous years, sustaining a long term trend that has seen the rate of fatalities more than halve over the last 20 years.

Data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals 142 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2014 and March 2015 (a rate of 0.46 fatalities per 100,000 workers). This compares to last year’s positively low figure of 136 (0.45 fatalities per 100,000 workers). Fatal injuries at work are thankfully rare events and as a consequence, the annual figures are subject to chance variation.

The statistics again confirm that the UK is one of the safest places to work in Europe, having one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations.

However, HSE’s Chair Judith Hackitt points out that every death is a tragedy: ‘It is disappointing last year’s

1 July 2015
 July 1, 2015
Community nurse

Nearly 50% of community nurses subjected to abuse

According to a recent survey carried out by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), almost half of community nurses have been victims of abuse within the last two years. 11% of those have faced physical abuse or assault as well as verbal abuse.

With around 68,595 community nurses in the UK, this equates to a staggering 32,640 subjected to abuse.  Unless an appropriate solution is sought, the number will increase in accordance to the rising number of lone working nurses.

Reacting to findings of the survey, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter commented: ‘It is horrifying to hear of a worsening situation, and one where people who go to work each day to care for people end up feeling alone, afraid and under attack instead. It is hard to give the best care when you go to work in fear – and we really need all employers to take the safety of their staff seriously.’

Dr Carter went on to say: ‘Sadly, it seems

12 June 2015
 June 12, 2015

Implementing the rules as a lone worker on our transport system

It is often questioned whether or not it is safe to work alone when working with the public, especially in roles that require you to enforce rules.

A recent incident at Clapham Junction station saw a lone working member of staff assaulted when performing his duties. The victim, who works on the platform at the over ground station requested that the attacker did not board the train with his bicycle during rush hour, unless he was prepared to travel in the last carriage. After the situation escalated, the attacker subsequently became aggressive, punching the rail worker in the face. Detective constable Denis Mahoney said: “The victim sustained several cuts, including one above his eye which required stitches”.

This poses the question as to whether or not lone working is suitable when the risk of assault or attack is relatively high. According to a 2015 investigation by the BBC, there has been a 44% rise in assaults on

2 June 2015
 June 2, 2015
NHS Lone Worker Framework 2018

Considerable Staff Shortages Predicted for NHS and Social Care

A report by the UK commission for Employment and skills (UKCES) warns that the demand for staff will far outstrip availability in both the NHS and social care over the next few years. According to the report, progression bottlenecks could limit the supply of appropriately skilled workers whilst demand in both sectors continues to grow.

This places enormous pressure on current health and social care workers, forcing them to work long hours to cope with workload. Subsequently, errors could be made while performing day to day duties, putting lone workers at greater risk of injury or attack. Could the overriding pressure on such workers be jeopardising their safety?

By 2022, the health and social care sector needs to train and recruit over 2 million more workers to satisfy demand. 2.1 million (67%) of these are needed to replace workers leaving existing roles. The research also highlights that a larger than average proportion of workers in the sector are aged between

18 May 2015
 May 18, 2015
Assaults on doctors rise

Medics express concern over violence against doctors

Recent evidence demonstrates that violence against doctors has become a growing international concern.

President of the WMA (World Medical Association) Dr Xavier Deau comments: ‘We are hearing about increasing violence against doctors, ranging from verbal to physical attacks and even kidnapping and murder. Everyone has the right to work in a safe environment.’

‘Violence against doctors is particularly mindless as it impacts on the entire healthcare system including the care of patients.’ An incident of violence towards a doctor is likely to interrupt patient care for the remainder of the doctor’s working day, possibly longer.

It was called upon by the WMA three years ago to encourage healthcare institutions to develop zero tolerance policies towards workplace violence, something that has become ‘even more urgent today’, according to Dr Deau.

A similar policy towards workplace violence was adopted by the NHS in 1999. In recent years however, there have been notable increases in the number of recorded assaults on NHS staff. 2012 saw an increase of 9% in

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