Every career comes with unique risks. Those who work in professional kitchens could suffer severe injuries when chopping food or cooking over an open flame. People working in manufacturing facilities could end up injured by a machine press or by forklifts moving around the factory floor. Hospital workers may overexert themselves when trying to lift patients, and a retail worker could slip and fall in a spill caused by a customer.
These safety issues are different for different professions, but many of them overlap across many industries. Workplace violence is one of the most overlooked risks in the professional world.
Violence on the job is on the rise
Employees tend to assume that only those in certain professions, what security, are at risk for violence on the job. However, federal injury and death statistics for workers make it clear that the truth is quite different from that assumption. According to information provided by the National Safety Council, assault is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and deaths.
In 2020, 392 workers lost their lives because of acts of violence on the job. There were another 20,050 workers who suffered injuries that required medical care or a temporary leave of absence. Workers in certain professions, including the service industry and the medical field, have a higher risk of workplace violence than those in many other industries.
Workers’ compensation coverage applies even after a crime
Some people mistakenly think that workers’ compensation wouldn’t cover them after an assault on the job because it would be the responsibility of the person who attacked them rather than their employer.
However, workers’ compensation is a no-fault program, which means the employer does not need to be at fault. There only needs to be proof that the injury is the result of someone doing their job in most cases. Whether the assailant is a co-worker or a member of the general public, workplace violence would potentially allow someone to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Learning more about workplace injury risks and workers’ compensation coverage can help people protect themselves from injuries at work and the costs they generate. With that said, workplace violence is not ordinarily something that employees are in a position to prevent. As a result, even though it is a tough reality, speaking with a legal professional in the wake of a violent incident is usually the most empowering thing that affected workers can do as they start processing what has happened to them.