Headlines swept the nation early this month: a security guard at Family Dollar was murdered over a facemask. This incensed act of violence is typically rare, yet the threat of aggressive customers is a reality for the more than two million American workers who are victims of workplace violence each year.
What is workplace violence?
Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening behavior that occurs at the work site. Assaults on workers can occur on company premises, at off-site job locations, while making deliveries, and during other business-related activities.
It can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. Everyone from employees, customers, visitors and innocent bystanders can be affected.
Acts of violence and other injuries are currently the third-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 458 of the 5,147 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2017 were caused by intentional injury of another individual. Whichever way it manifests itself, workplace violence is a major concern for employers and employees across the nation.
Is my Employer Required to Protect Me?
There are currently no standard regulations regarding workplace violence. However there are OSHA guidelines that require the employer to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for its employees.
If you are injured by a customer or coworker on the job, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation. It is imperative to report any workplace violence to your supervisor, record the incident in writing, and immediately seek an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney.
If you have been injured on the job, contact Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill at 302-565-6100 for a free review of your case.
Injured workers are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. Workers’ comp benefits cover payment of medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and two-thirds of lost earnings (up to a maximum weekly amount) during treatment and recovery.
The National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH) tracks four categories of workplace violence:
Customer or client
Injuries from a violent assault can range from scrapes and bruises to broken bones, serious head injuries, and even death.
It is crucial, especially during these volatile times, that you receive the compensation you deserve. The lawyers at Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill are here to help.