Most workers are familiar with
workers’ compensation; they understand that if they are injured in an
accident while working, that they can file a workers’ compensation claim.
However, one issue that’s less talked about is workplace violence.
According to the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence,
harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that
occurs at the work site.” For workers’ compensation purposes,
we’re not interested in threats, but we are interested in “acts
of physical violence” that lead to work-related injuries.
OSHA goes on to say that workplace violence “ranges from threats
and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide.” So, who
are the perpetrators of workplace violence? It can be fellow employees,
managers, clients, customers, and visitors. It can even be a co-worker’s
former spouse, or a current husband or wife who is subject to an active
domestic violence protective order.
How Serious is the Problem?
According to OSHA, workplace violence affects nearly 2 million American
workers every year. OSHA says that the following factors increase the
risk of workplace violence:
- Exchanging money with the public.
- Working with unstable people.
- Working with volatile people.
- Providing care or services directly to people.
- Working in a high crime neighborhood.
- Working late at night.
- Being a delivery driver.
- Being a health professional.
- Working in law enforcement.
- Working in customer service.
- Working alone or in a small group.
- Working in establishments that serve alcohol.
According to the
National Safety Council, while car accidents are the leading cause of death among workers, “violence
is the third leading cause for healthcare workers, and employees in professional
and business services like education, law and media.”
The NSC goes on to say, “No matter who initiates the confrontation,
the deadliest situations involve an active shooter.” That being
said, every workplace must address the issue of workplace violence, which
includes zero-tolerance policies, employee training and emergency action plans.
To file a workers’ compensation claim in New York because of workplace
contact Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund today.