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Women suffer disproportionate assaults in workplace

| Mar 28, 2019 | Workplace Accidents

The number of assault-related injuries among women in the workplace rose 60 percent between 2011 and 2017, a new analysis shows.

The National Safety Council, in its 100-year compilation of preventable death and injury statistics. found that in 2017, 12,820 women reported assault-related injuries. That same year, 5,530 men reported assault-related injuries.

The study found that women also suffered disproportionately from accidental injury by another person, falls, and ergonomic issues such as repetitive motion disorder. Women were injured more in professions such as healthcare, education and the management/business/financial segment.

Not a lone set of statistics

Another survey found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men reported sexual harassment in the workplace in their lifetimes.

Older studies found that 80 percent of the victims of the nearly 36,500 rape and sexual assault in the workplace between 1993 and 1999 were women. Up to 95 percent of rape victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and 50 percent of rape victims lost or were forced to quit their jobs due to the severity of their reactions.

Worker’s compensation claim

Because it is your employer’s duty to provide a safe workplace, you could pursue a workers’ compensation claim if you are assaulted in the workplace. However, the individual facts of each case play an important part.

The key is the law that specifies the injury occurred at the “act of a third person directed against a covered employee in the course of the employment.”

This means that if, for example, a fellow employee assaults you while on a work site, you could be covered by worker’s compensation. If the perpetrator followed you home and assaulted you there, you might not be covered even though the perpetrator is also an employee and the incident began on work grounds. If the perpetrator is not an employee, or if you were at the work site but not as a function of your employment, then you might not be covered.

Because of the complexity of the law, it’s important that you to get advice from a qualified attorney when you decide to pursue a worker’s compensation claim for assault.

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