Physical attacks on ambos continue to rise, with research showing violence against Australian paramedics has doubled.
The study from CQUniversity found violence against paramedics has increased from six to 12 cases per million ambulance call outs.
And the number of cases of violence and assaults has dramatically increased from five to 40 per year.
Lead researcher Professor Brian Maguire said there was no occupation in Australia with a higher injury or fatality rate than paramedics.
And it is worse for female paramedics, who suffer disproportionately higher risks of occupational violence than their male counterparts
“The higher risk for female paramedics is a mystery and needs to be investigated because if there is a big difference it implies there is a need for gender-specific interventions,” Maguire says.
He believes the study’s findings should convince ambulance services across Australia to take preventative steps to ensure the problem doesn’t continue to worsen.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that many ambulance services have implemented programs to try to reduce risks, yet risks have actually increased despite those efforts,” he says.
“The good news is that in other professions, for every dollar invested in this type of study, the employer saves three dollars in cost in their employees being injured.
“So while it’s important to protect the staff, it’s also in their economic advantage to participate in such studies.”
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