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What is Workplace Violence?

By now, you're likely aware that work in general poses different types of hazards. Whether such hazards stem from repetitive motion injuries, dangerous machinery, falls from heights, falling objects, or slippery surfaces, hazards exist everywhere you turn.

One of the more dangerous workplace hazards that is often overlooked comes from people and in the form of "workplace violence." What is workplace violence and what does it mean to the American worker?

Workplace violence refers to any violence or threat of violence against a worker. It can involve co-workers, managers, customers, or it can even happen when a perfect stranger or a co-worker's spouse threatens the safety of a worker.

Workplace violence poses a real threat to society; according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), whether it involves verbal abuse, physical assaults, or homicide, it's one of the leading causing of job-related deaths in the United States. However such violence manifests itself, it's a concern for employees and employers in all industries nationwide.

Who is at risk?

OSHA reports that about 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence every year. While some fields are more dangerous than others, workplace violence can happen to anyone, and it can strike at any time. Some workers, by the nature of their job are at an increased risk and they include workers who:

  • Exchange cash with the public,
  • Work alone,
  • Work in small groups,
  • Deliver passengers, goods, or services,
  • Work late at night,
  • Work in high crime areas, and
  • Work in settings where they are often in contact with the public.

Those who are especially prone to workplace violence, though it can happen to anyone, include: social workers, healthcare workers, psychiatric evaluators, probation officers, utility employees, cable TV installers, letter carriers, taxi drivers, and retail workers.

What to Do If You're a Victim of Workplace Violence

Unfortunately, OSHA contends that nothing can be done to guarantee that an employee won't be a victim of workplace violence.

If you are a victim, however, you should report the violent incident to the local police and contact a Schenectady personal injury attorney from DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata to discuss your rights under New York's workers' compensation and personal injury laws.

You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost income. We encourage you to contact our firm to find out if you have grounds to file a personal injury or workers' compensation claim, or both.