One in three caregivers have experienced aggression at work during COVID-19. This is evidenced by figures from IDEWE, the prevention and protection service at work.
Covid-19 has certainly not tempered these habits, according to the latest figures for Corona 2020 and 2021 from IDEWE, which were extracted from the static raw data at the request of De Standaard. 17 percent, or nearly one in five in 60,000 participants in the communication profession, said they had experienced aggression from strangers in the workplace in the six months prior to the survey. Younger employees and women in particular often have a tough time.
The healthcare sector is taking the cake at those already alarming numbers. “More than one in three (34.4 percent) employees there say they have experienced external aggression,” says Lode Godderis, CEO of IDEWE, professor of occupational medicine at KU Leuven and member of the Corona Gems advisory board. “Problems are not new, they have been brought to a head by the pandemic. Aggression is an essential response for everyone and at all times, but it is more common in crisis situations. The pandemic is a source of stress for both health care providers and patients or visitors.
Covid-19 has changed the nature of accidents. “What we call frustration aggression in particular has gotten worse,” says Stijn Van Daele, director of safety at UZ Gent. “Those collisions are getting worse.”
According to many industry stakeholders, the numbers are an underestimate. Van Daley suspects that “many nurses or doctors do not or stop reporting accidents.” The fact that caregivers do not report incidents or report very little is partly due to lack of time, but sometimes also due to habituation.
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