Incidents involving violence in the workplace have become increasingly common. Many employers have policies in place to deal with situations involving active shooters and bomb threats. But while these are the type of episodes we hear about most on the nightly news, smaller incidents in which one employee acts out against another or where clients become violent happen on a regular basis. In these situations, those injured may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, as well as benefits through national crime prevention organizations.
Workers Most At Risk Of Violence
Acts of violence can occur in any occupation. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), violence in the workplace impacts as many as two million American workers each year. Those most at risk are employees who deal with money, who interact with the general public on a daily basis, and those who work in high crime neighborhoods or at night. These include:
- Delivery drivers and mail carriers
- Public transportation workers
- Home repair and service providers
- Home health care workers, rehabilitation therapists, and hospice workers
- Therapists and mental health community service workers
- Retails workers and those in the service industry
- Bank employees and executives
In addition to threats from the public, employees may experience acts of violence at the hands of their coworkers or managers. This includes physical altercations, such as pushing, shoving, and punching, as well as sexual or verbal assaults, threats, and intimidation.
What To Do If Violence Occurs At Work
To prevent acts of violence in the workplace, OSHA advises employers to establish zero tolerance policies when it comes to acts of violence or threats. They also advise to encourage employees to report any strange behavior or signs of violence immediately to supervisors. If you are the victim of threats, notify coworkers, remove yourself from the situation, inform your supervisor, and demand that appropriate action be taken. This may include firing the other employee, securing the facility, and notifying law enforcement.
If you have been injured in a violent attack on the job, you may be entitled to benefits through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, which covers on the job injuries if they occur during the normal course of your work duties. Benefits you may be entitled to include medical care, lost wages, and ongoing disability payments. You may also be entitled to crime victim compensation through the National Center for Victims of Crime, which may include compensation for any pain and suffering you endured. If an act of violence does occur, do the following:
- Do not fight back, unless required to prevent further injury
- Make note of any witnesses at the scene
- Get to a safe place
- Inform your boss or supervisor
- Have them notify local law enforcement
- Get medical attention as soon as possible
- Inform your physician of your symptoms and how your injuries occurred
Get Help Today
Once you have gotten treatment, call or contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm and request a free consultation with our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys. We can help ensure your rights are protected and assist you in getting the benefits you need to recover.