There are some jobs that come with an increased risk of interpersonal violence. For example, those who work in law enforcement or professional security services understand that their physical safety could be at risk while they perform their jobs.
The unfortunate truth is that violence is a risk in almost any workplace, and there is very little individual workers can do to avoid it. Modern workplace safety statistics make it clear that more employees in recent years have ended up needing support because they get injured on the job due to violence.
What does workplace safety data show?
After years of declining workplace violence, there has recently been a marked increase in the number of violent incidents forcing people to take time away from their employment. In 2020, there were 392 workplace deaths across the country that resulted from violence. There were another reported 20,050 injuries that required time away from work.
Workers in fields ranging from medicine to retail are more likely than ever before to have a co-worker, customer or complete stranger engage in an act of interpersonal aggression. Workplace violence might result from attempted robberies or other criminal activity. It can also be a consequence of conflict between workers. There are also scenarios in which patrons or customers become violent or aggressive when they do not get what they want.
Workplace violence can lead to both physical injuries and psychological trauma that can have profound implications for someone’s finances. Workers may need to miss days or weeks of work after getting hurt on the job and may sometimes struggle to return to the same position they previously filled because of lingering symptoms related to their injury or psychological trauma.
Workers’ compensation can help victims of violence
In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation benefits are available for almost any medical condition directly linked to someone’s employment. The benefits can cover the full cost of someone’s medical treatment related to on-the-job injuries suffered because of a violent incident and can also provide disability benefits that cover their lost wages. All too often, workers hurt by interpersonal violence are unaware of their rights, as they may assume that they can only hold the person who attacked them accountable. Workers may be able to file a benefits claim in addition to taking action to hold the other party accountable.
Seeking legal guidance and learning more about the rules that apply to workers’ compensation coverage may help people who get hurt on the job due to violence pursue a claim for the benefits that they deserve.