Violence in the Workplace
Assaulted at work? You’re not alone!
You hear it on the news on an almost daily basis. You worry if it might happen to you. You even check your employer to see if there is a plan in motion in case an event does take place. You read the statistics and you know that someday it may just occur.
What I’m referring to is “workplace violence”.
Some workers may never witness such an assault or worse at work, whereas others are just by the nature of the job and mathematical probability exposed to acts of violence. Since the mid 1980’s four industries have experienced a dramatic rise in the amount of injuries and death associated with violence in the workplace. Law enforcement, real estate, gasoline / mini-mart attendant and lodging have become the hotspots. Also, taxi and Uber drivers, as well as paramedics and EMTs and even postal workers, are prone to being victims of assault while on the job as their workplaces tend to include dangerous areas in high violence communities.
According to OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) over two million workers per year become victims of workplace violence. And that figure is based on reportable incidents.
Over two million? Sadly, it’s true. And, what’s worse is that even though policies are established by employers to curtail workplace violence…it still happens. In some states, even if you are hurt by another employee on company property, you may not sue your employer. Oh, and that 2 million is most likely a lot higher due to the fear of reprisal or reprimand involved in reporting such an incident.
Can workplace violence be prevented?
Not entirely. But, steps can be put in place to curtail employees from engaging in hostile acts. If employed, you want to make sure that your employer has clear protocols in case of such hostilities, what to do, how to act and where to go. Violence awareness training should be reviewed periodically and employees given the opportunity to act out scenarios.
Look, no one really thinks about getting hurt from a coworker, or by a customer, or by someone they are called to help, they think their job is the last place that an incident would ever occur, yet, workplace violence increases every year.
In recent events you might have heard about a shooting and you wonder who’s responsible for the medical bills, the shooter or the employer?
Or maybe an event happened and you’ve been approached about a cash settlement, do you take it?
Do injuries incurred as a result of work related violence fall under a worker’s compensation suit or a regular lawsuit?
If you have questions about what happens as a result of workplace violence or you’ve been injured as a result of someone’s spiteful activities, I invite you to pick up the phone and call us. We’ll review your situation and let you know if you have a valid case.