90% of social care workers have experienced violence in workplace

Authors of a new report are warning organisations "must prevent a culture of violence from developing in social care"

A new survey shows 90% of social care workers have experienced violence in the workplace.

Social Care Ireland has carried out research which also shows that 75% experienced physical assaults - 18% reported it was on a daily or weekly basis.

73% witnessed aggressive behaviour, 70% experienced verbal abuse, and 60% were threatened weekly or more often in their workplace.

61% of respondents said that their employer "sees violence as an acceptable part of their job".

Image: Social Care Ireland

The authors of the report say that organisations "must prevent a culture of violence from developing in social care".

However, they also stress that "aggressive or violent behaviour must be distinguished from what is often termed ‘challenging’ behaviour, to ensure developing violent situations are recognised and appropriate early intervention strategies are employed". 

Social Care Ireland - which is launching the report today - says the situation means the most vulnerable are not getting the vital services they need.

Spokesman Noel Howard said "if you take the Netherlands, Ireland and the UK, Ireland has the highest percentage [...] of incidents in the work place which are violent.

"It's an unenviable position to be in," he added.