Every day in the United States, an average of two workers are killed as a result of workplace violence.In fact, the risk of suffering a personal injury in the workplace through assault or other acts of violence by a fellow worker, may have increased during these troubled economic times. Unfortunately for the families whose loved ones are killed, the workers comp system is not setup in a manner to provide an appropriate level of compensation.
Data suggests that the number of persons actually killed as a result of workplace violence has stayed more or less consistent over the past 14 years.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 500 people died in 2010 due to workplace violence.There has been a lot of focus on preventing specific types of injuries in the workplace, like fall accidents or accidents involving machinery.Atlanta Workers’ Compensation lawyers find that there is little attention paid to the issue of workplace violence, and ways to prevent it.
Last month a workplace violence incident in California drew attention to this very serious safety issue.The incident occurred at the LehighSouthwest Cement Permanente Plant, where an employee opened fire on coworkers at a meeting.They were about 15 people at the meeting.Three of them were killed.At least six other people sustained injuries.There is no information yet about what caused this rampage.
Experts warn that many companies have an ingrained culture that encourages employers to neglect any signs of potentially troubling behavior employee.This can be dangerous.Employers need to be aware of workers who may have any history of the psychological or mental health problems.
Besides, employers must track workers who have emotional or other mental issues, or personality disorders.Workers, who are under a lot of stress either because of financial problems or domestic disputes, must also be monitored.Special care must be taken to monitor workers who already have a history of domestic violence.Some workers may be at a higher risk of engaging in workplace violence, like those who have recently been divorced, or are currently involved in a marital dispute.
Experts also recommend the establishment of a threat assessment team.The job of the team should be to identify workers who may have psychological issues, and to make efforts to reach out to them.This team must consist of attorneys, psychological health experts, security personnel and other professionals.
Employers must have a zero-tolerance policy towards violence in the workplace.Employers must also work to foster a workplace culture that encourages the reporting of incidents of violence.This includes making sure that any worker who reports incidents of violence, does suffer from any retaliatory behavior.
In most cases, stressed and anxious workers will deal with their frustrations and stresses in an acceptable and appropriate manner.In those few cases where workers are pressured to take out their frustrations in the workplace, employers must be prepared to act.
The Atlanta Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Katz Law Firm help workers who have been injured in workplace accidents, recover compensation.If you have been injured in a workplace accident in Atlanta, contact a Workers’ Compensation lawyer at our firm.