Budget cuts increase risk of workplace violence?


In the last two weeks, across the world, ordinary people working in roles providing support and help to others have been exposed to the risk of violence and aggression. On a daily basis reports come in, from every corner, of staff being attacked and injured whilst at work.

Court security is beefed up in Australia as incidents of violence increase, licensing requires a Scottish nightclub to do likewise after a spate of violent incidents, in the United States a transit officer is assaulted in a racist attack whilst bar staff there have also been injured, in the UK a door supervisor has his nose broken in an attack, whilst in Hyderabad inmates attack prison staff with cricket bats. Members of Parliament in the UK demand assaults on pub staff to be treated more seriously by the courts and prominent security providers in the UK and US warn the risk of budget cuts will increase the likely hood of violence.

The night time economy doesn’t have a monopoly here children’s services are well represented; in the US a teacher is assaulted at a residential services unit resulting in the restraint of a 13 year old, an excluded UK teen returns to a school armed with a knife and a US teacher trying to break up a fight, loses her unborn baby after a vicious assault by a pupil.  After an assault at another US school the training of teachers in how to diffuse situations is also under review.

In New Zealand an increase in violent incidents towards nursing staff in Emergency rooms has led to the deployment of security officers, on the other side of the world, in the US following the assault of a member of staff, a review of training provision takes place in an attempt to reduce assaults. Australia and the UK have seen A&E staff assaulted, we have heard of abusive drunks being arrested and staff receiving serious injuries.

In Australia a 67 year old nurse attacked on a mental health ward suffers two broken arms, a broken shoulder and other serious injuries when she is beaten to “within an inch of her life”, but she survives unlike the US corrections officer who was tragically killed. Representing the guards at the facility a spokesperson said "This is what we've all feared would happen, and now it has," guards have been forced to work solo more often as budget cuts have reduced the size of the staff at the prison facility.

So whilst training and education can minimise the risk of workplace violence the biggest risk staff are facing now is budget cuts as organisations try to stay afloat in uncertain times.

Add this...