Care provider faces large fine after staff are exposed to violence and aggression

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

A West Berkshire company has been fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 costs after it was convicted of exposing social care workers to violence and aggression.

The company, who provide services for people with learning disabilities, admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, in relation to their employees and agency workers.

An investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive after a support worker was kicked in the eye by a client in December 2009.

It was determined that the company did not have sufficient processes in place to control the risk of workers being exposed to violence and aggression from a particular client who posed an ongoing risk of violence and aggression, resulting in a number of occasions where staff were injured.

Speaking after the sentencing, HSE Inspector Carol Forster, said: “The risk of violence and aggression from clients with challenging behaviour is common in the social care sector. Workers can suffer not only physical injury but also psychological effects such as stress and anxiety, which can also affect their family and social life.

“Social care organisations have a duty to ensure that proper management systems are in place to control the risk of violence and aggression to the lowest level possible.”

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