Not liking your co-workers and the people you work around can make your job less enjoyable; being afraid of them because they are dangerous is another story. In these situations, your safety – and your life – could be at risk.
Violence in the workplace is far too common in the U.S. In fact, it is the third leading cause of fatal work accidents, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Attacks and assaults
No workplace is completely safe from the risk of violence. Even working in a school can prove to be dangerous. For instance, a Maryland cafeteria worker suffered an attack by a female student while she was at work.
The assault left her with long-last injuries to her head and wrist. For three years, she has been dealing with the repercussions of the assault.
While some of these acts are unpredictable, there are several ways to prevent attacks on the job. Such options include:
- Having a secure system in place for reporting harassment, threats and other potentially troubling acts
- Taking a zero-tolerance approach to violent acts (e.g., firing workers who have made threats or been violent or banning violent individuals or customers from a business)
- Installing physical barriers to protect workers from attacks
- Providing training to identify early warning signs of violent behaviors
These precautions can help prevent workplace assaults and get help to anyone who does get hurt in an attack on the job.
Seeking support and financial remedies
If you suffer injuries in a physical attack at work, the attacker may face civil and criminal penalties for their conduct.
In addition, even though the other person is responsible for your injuries, workers’ compensation benefits can also be available.
Workplace violence is frightening and upsetting; it can also be stressful. If you are experiencing the physical or emotional impact of being in a threatening environment, getting support is crucial. You can discuss your options with your doctor, employer, and attorney to protect yourself and your health.