Labour candidate Karen Whitefield wants crackdown on workplace bullies

Labour candidate Karen Whitefield on the campaign trail in Falkirk High Street

Labour candidate Karen Whitefield on the campaign trail in Falkirk High Street

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Karen Whitefield is calling for a crackdown on abuse in the workplace and greater protection for NHS staff.

The Labour candidate for the Falkirk constituency at May’s General Election spoke out after it was revealed more than 1000 injuries to NHS Forth Valley staff were recorded in the last three years.

Everyone should have the right to go to work free from the fear of harassment or violence

The number includes non-violent accidents such as trips and falls.

Whitefield, a campaigns officer for the shopworkers’ trade union USDAW, is calling for greater protection for people subjected to violent threats and intimidation as part of their work.

She said: “It doesn’t matter if you work in the NHS, in an office or in the retail sector, abuse should never be part of the job.

“We need to crack down on the violence and abuse that is directed at people who have done nothing wrong but go to work.

“It is particularly concerning to hear about assaults on workers in our health service as they are often trying to help the very people who are abusing or assaulting them.

“Everyone should have the right to go to work free from the fear of harassment or violence.

“NHS staff already work in a demanding and challenging environment. Pressure on resources makes their job harder and it adds to stress among the workforce.

“The Scottish Government needs to ask itself whether it really is doing everything it can to support these workers with a properly resourced health service and clear direction from the very top.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Whitefield held a meeting earlier this month with shop stewards and management at coach builders Alexander Dennis.

The former MSP heard from staff about the Camelon-based firm’s growth and working conditions for staff.

“It’s a real local success story,” she said.