What is workplace violence exactly? Does it refer to angry customers who
get aggressive? Does it refer to co-workers who get physical with each
other? Does it involve an angry husband who comes to his wife’s
job to beat up her boss? Does it involve the active shooter scenario that’s
been all over the headlines lately? It’s all of those things.
osha.gov, “Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against
workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats
and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading
causes of job-related deaths.”
Who is at Risk of Workplace Violence?
OSHA says that however workplace violence manifests itself, it’s
a growing concern for both employees and employers across the country.
Currently, two million American workers become victims each and every
year. But are some people more prone to victimization than others? In
reality, anyone can be a victim, but due to the nature of certain jobs,
some workers are at a higher risk than others.
The following types of workers are at a higher risk of workplace violence:
- Police officers,
- Postal workers,
- Retail workers,
- Visiting nurses,
- Psychiatric evaluators,
- Workers who exchange cash with the public; for example, convenience store workers,
- Drivers who deliver passengers, such as taxi, Uber or Lyft drivers,
- People who deliver goods or services,
- People who work in high-crime areas,
- People who work late at night, and
- Healthcare and social workers.
What can an employer do to prevent workplace violence? “The best
protection employers can offer is to establish a zero-tolerance policy
toward workplace violence against or by their employees,” says the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers can also
hire outside companies to train employees on workplace violence and how
to defend themselves against armed attackers and active shooters.
OSHA advises that employers establish some sort of a workplace violence
prevention program and that they incorporate the information into an employee
handbook, or a manual that outlines standard operating procedures.
Are You a Victim of Workplace Violence?
If you’re a victim of workplace violence, do you know your rights
and responsibilities under the law? Not only should you report all violent
incidents to the police immediately, but you should know that you have
a legal right to prosecute the perpetrator. Most importantly, you have
the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and other damages with
the help of a
personal injury lawyer.
To learn more about filing a claim after workplace violence in Columbia, SC,
contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. We’re here to help.