More than a quarter of adult social care professionals working on the front line have sustained a significant physical injury at work, a new survey has revealed.
The survey found that 26% of front line care workers have sustained a significant physical injury, with 15% having to take time off work as a result.
The poll of 628 care professionals, including care workers, support workers, care managers and healthcare assistants, was commissioned by the National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS) and carried out by Care Research.
It found that a total of 94 respondents took time off due to sustaining a physical injury at work. This is just under half of those who have taken time off due to mental health concerns.
Further analysis of these results show the minimum amount of time taken off collectively in this sample is 3,080 days. This is equivalent to just under eight and a half years and an average of 4.9 days per respondent (across all 628 respondents).
Over a quarter of respondents who had taken time off took more than one month off (30.8%), while 11.7% took more than six months off.
Commenting on the report, NACAS CEO Karolina Gerlich said: “This research reinforces our understanding of the experiences of the workforce and we hope that social care stakeholders and policymakers will use it to improve social care for all.
“One of our primary aims is to give the social care workforce a voice to influence policy making at the highest levels. Our annual research on the well-being of care workers is designed to inform our campaign strategy; we explore the physical, psychological and economical status of the care workforce, and the impact of the general perception of care work on people’s health and happiness.”
Most (83%) of the 163 respondents commented on the physical injury/injuries they had sustained at work. They included back injuries (38%) and injuries to their hand or arm (18%) or shoulder (9%).
Thirty three respondents also detailed injuries they had received from those they were providing care for. These ranged from bites and scratches to more serious long-term physical issues.
Employment contracts had a marginal effect on the amount of time people took off from work following a physical injury. A third (33.3%) of those with self-employed or zero hour contracts took more than one month or more than six months off from work in comparison to 32.8% of respondents on permanent contracts.