Every year, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) publishes a list of the top twelve companies around the country that fail to safeguard their employees from workplace injuries or accidents. This list is commonly called “the dirty dozen.”
And this year, two Maryland based companies appeared on the list.
Two Maryland companies in the dirty dozen
In April, the National COSH reported that both Integra Health Management Inc. and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland failed to take reasonable measures to protect their employees in the workplace.
And the reason both of these companies made the list? Their failure to combat workplace violence.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited both of these companies for violations before. However, the risk of workplace violence is increasing. And these companies evidently are not taking measures to reduce the risk that their employees face.
What is workplace violence?
According to OSHA, workplace violence involves employees facing the danger or threat of harm while on the job. This could include verbal or physical threats or actual harm from:
- An employer
- Another employee
- A third-party or a client
Purposeful violence is just as much of a danger to employees as an accident. And while employees can recover workers’ compensation if they suffer a severe injury from workplace violence, it is most critical for employers to protect their workers from these situations.
Healthcare workers face a higher risk of workplace violence
Both Integra Health Management and Johns Hopkins are in the medical field. And healthcare workers are some of the employees who deal with a high risk of violence in the workplace.
This is because the employees often deal directly with the public, as well as individuals with unstable mental health or a history of violence. For example, many nurses at Johns Hopkins report that they experience severe violence from patients at work. And they also report that the hospital does nothing about their claims.
These situations are nothing new to healthcare workers or the healthcare industry. However, that is the main reason that both companies should understand how to protect their employees’ safety.
What can you do if your workplace violates safety standards?
One of an employer’s primary concerns—and responsibilities—should be to ensure their employees have a safe place to work. The availability of workers’ compensation may provide some comfort to employees, but it should not be necessary when workplace violence is so preventable.
Working provides individuals with income. And it goes without question that gainful employment is necessary. However, employment should never come before an individual’s safety.