Almost two million American workers report being victimized by workplace violence every year, and workplace homicides are the fourth leading cause of occupation-related death in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). Women are even more at risk, as homicide causes more on-the-job deaths among female workers than any other factor. These eye-opening statistics may even belie the true extent of workplace violence in America, as many cases of violence at work go unreported.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” In addition to employees, on-the-job violence can affect and involve clients, customers, and visitors as well.
Not surprisingly, OSHA identifies factors like working in areas with high crime rates, where alcohol is served, or with volatile, unstable people as likely to increase the chances of experiencing violence in the workplace. Those particularly at risk include delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, public service workers, law enforcement personnel, and workers who exchange money with the public.
To reduce workplace violence, OSHA recommends that employers implement a zero-tolerance policy applying to both workers and anyone who comes in contact with company personnel. Also, having a comprehensive workplace violence prevention program in place in addition to providing further training and resources to protect workers in high risk industries can significantly reduce the risk of victimization by on-the-job violence as well.
Workplace violence is an extremely serious matter. If you’ve been a victim of violence at work in Pennsylvania, our Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Get in touch with us today to learn more.