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Trade union GMB has unveiled new figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, that more than 6,000 carers suffered serious injuries at work as a result of violence from 2013-2018.

Between the financial years 2013/14 to 2017/18, 6,034 violent attacks on care workers resulting in serious injury were reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

5,008 workers were so seriously injured they had to take at least one week off work, while a further 1,026 carers suffered a ‘specified’ injury, including fractures, loss of sight, brain damage, or amputation.

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GMB noted that the true rates are likely to be much higher, as the HSE warns that ‘non-fatal injuries are substantially under-reported.’

Violent attacks account for a third of reports for residential care workers, compared to just seven percent of reports for all workers.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “Our members often tell us about the abuse they have to face at work – and these figures back them up. These statistics are the tip of the iceberg – they only include the most serious injuries, and our members have to deal with violence on a daily basis.

“But care work is much more than a job – our members love their work and want to carry on doing their best for those they look after. Unfortunately, our members are sometimes put under unacceptable pressure to keep working after an attack when they should be receiving care themselves.

“Care is crucial. For each of us individually, our parents, grandparents, kids, friends and neighbours, but too often the sector is overlooked and the people working in care treated less than the frontline professionals that they are.”

GMB is a trade union that represents all workers, which has over 620,000 members who work in a variety of jobs, representing public services and private companies.

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