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Workplace violence has become a major safety concern

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Workplace safety issues are sometimes industry-specific concerns. People can get hurt by heavy equipment in a factory or fall off of ladders when they work as house painters. Someone in the kitchen may need to worry about cutting themselves or suffering a burn, while someone who drives as part of their job could end up in a crash while on the clock.

Other risks are relatively universal. Workers in almost any profession could potentially develop repetitive strain disorders from performing the same functions for years. Employees in many different work environments could end up hurt if they slip and fall. Violence in the workplace is a job risk that people think of as industry-specific. However, it has become a more pervasive threat in recent years and puts people in many different industries at risk.

What people may assume about workplace violence

Most people believe that workplace violence is a concern for people in certain professions. Obviously, security professionals and those working in law enforcement may experience violence on the job. There is often an assumption that the individual who commits the violent act is the party responsible for the injuries someone incurs. What people believe about workplace violence is often a bit different than the truth about workers hurt by the misconduct of others on the job.

What data shows about workplace violence

Contrary to what people assume, workplace violence is not rare. In 2020, there were almost 400 reported workplace deaths caused by violence on the job. More than 37,000 workers incurred injuries in incidents involving intentional violence. Additionally, it does not only occur in a handful of industries but is instead of risk in almost any environment. In recent years, hospital workers have faced an increase in violence in the workplace. So have retail employees.

The idea that an assailant or thief is the party primarily responsible for crime-related losses is also inaccurate. Workers hurt in violent incidents on the job often qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. They can receive coverage to pay for their medical treatment and possibly also benefits that can replace their lost wages if they cannot work due to their injuries.

Understanding how pervasive workplace violence is may help people feel more comfortable about seeking benefits if they get hurt due to the misconduct of others on the job.