Firm-Wide blog

Workplace Violence Threatens Employee Safety

By Burg Simpson
June 4, 2018
3 min read

Sadly, the possibility of violence shattering the workplace is more likely than ever. According to the latest data from the National Safety Council, roughly 2 million Americans are victims of workplace violence every year. In 2014, for example, more than 400 employees died as result of a senseless attack – making up about 16 percent of all workplace fatalities.

Some numbers from the National Safety Counsel’s Injury Facts 2016:

  • Government: 37,110 injuries, 128 deaths
  • Education and health services: 22,590 injuries, 35 deaths
  • Professional and Business Services: 4,460 injuries, 65 deaths
  • Retail: 2,680 injuries, 127 deaths
  • Leisure and hospitality: 2,380 injuries, 107 deaths
  • Financial activities: 1,100 injuries, 37 deaths
  • Transportation and warehousing: 840 injuries, 71 deaths
  • Construction: 680 injuries, 36 deaths
  • Manufacturing: 570 injuries, 36 deaths

If you or someone in your family has been subjected to an assault at work, you could be compensated for your injuries, especially if your employer failed to provide a safe workplace. Get in touch with a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

Types of Workplace Violence

The National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health defines workplace violence as “any physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting.” Additionally, the NIOS breaks down four types of workplace violence:

  • Type 1 – Referred to as criminal intent, the perpetrator of this violence has no legitimate relationship to the business or its employees, and is usually committing a crime in conjunction with the violence, such as robbery, shoplifting, or trespassing, for example. These incidents make up roughly 60 percent of workplace homicides.
  • Type 2Customer, or client, violence is the most common type of workplace violence, making up about 40 percent of incidents. This occurs most frequently in health care settings, particularly in emergency and psychiatric treatment settings, waiting rooms, and geriatric settings.
  • Type 3 – Also known as worker-on-worker, violence between coworkers is commonly referred to as lateral or horizontal violence. It can include bullying, and is often expressed as verbal and emotional abuse, and in extreme cases, can result in homicide.
  • Type 4Personal relationship violence can spill into the workplace if the perpetrator has a relationship to an employee. These incidents are typically an extension of domestic violence.

What Are Warning Signs to Look For?

Some warning signs to look out for include:

  • Crying or having temper tantrums
  • Being late or absent excessively
  • Showing disrespect for authority figures
  • Refusing to acknowledge job performance problems
  • Swearing at work or using emotionally charged language
  • Being socially isolated
  • Handling criticism poorly, blaming others for mistakes, and insisting he or she is correct all the time
  • Holding grudges – especially against a supervisor

We have handled a significant number of workplace violence cases. For first responders it often can be an injury that significantly affects the ability to continue in that type of employment. The same can be true for hospital or school employees that suffer an injury while dealing with unruly or difficult patients or students.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and just because an employee or co-worker exhibits one or more of these signs does not necessarily mean that a violent incident is imminent. But if you have been the victim of workplace violence, you could have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. Reach out to Burg Simpson Colorado today and speak with a workers’ compensation attorney by calling 303-792-5595 or you can fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form now.

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