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Municipal employees facing more violence


Municipal employees facing more violence
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Violence experienced by municipal employees rose again last year, according to a fresh study by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
      Nearly one in ten municipal employees experienced physical violence, such as hitting or kicking. In addition, nearly one in five were subjected to threats or other types of psychological violence.
     
Social worker Aila Hyvönen who works at the Helsinki municipal office building in Kallio says that employees are routinely subjected to threats and other verbal abuse. Some make groundless complaints to supervisors, while others threaten to kill either themselves or an employee.
      “The threat of violence is the dark side of this job”, says Satu Tuomanen, who processes income supplement applications.
     
According to Aila Hyvönen, head of occupational safety at the Helsinki City Social Services Department, it is hard to pinpoint a single reason for the development.
      “It could be that customers and relatives have become more difficult, it could also be that the threshold to report incidents has become lower.”
      Violence is clearly more common in municipal work than in other sectors of the work force. According to the working condition barometer for the municipal sector put out by the Centre for Occupational Safety, the number of municipal employees experiencing violence at work is nearly double the amount in other sectors.


Helsingin Sanomat


  21.11.2011 - TODAY
 Municipal employees facing more violence

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