Assaults and Violent Acts by Person
Assaults and violent acts by person(s) are things that should not occur in anyone's workplace. They are things that no one should have to worry about. No one should have to worry about being assaulted or being the victim of violent acts while they are doing their job. However, the disturbing and troubling fact is that assaults and violent acts do take place in the workplace.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as being any physical assault, verbal abuse or threatening behavior that takes place in the workplace. According to NIOSH, violence includes both covert and overt behaviors that range in aggressiveness from verbal harassment to murder.
Possible Factors of Workplace Violence
There are several factors that go into why assaults and violent acts by person(s) occur in the workplace. Some of these include:
- Disgruntled Customers who believe they have been wronged
- Angry, upset former employees
- Lack of pre-employment screening
- Denial by a company that violence will take place
- Stress of either a personal or workplace nature
- Ignorance on the part of a company that assaults and violent acts by person(s) could take place
- Lack of an employee assistance program
- Conflicts between co-workers
Jobs with Higher Risk for Violent Acts
There are several jobs and occupations where the risk of assaults and violent acts by person(s) is higher. Some of these are:
- Community Care
- Financial Institutions
- Corrections, security and police
- Health Care
- Social Services
Injuries that can result from Workplace Assaults
There are many different types of physical injuries that result from assaults and violent acts by person(s). These include:
- Stab wounds
- Gunshot wounds
- Blunt force trauma
- Concussion and other types of head injuries
- Sprains and broken bones
- Cuts, scrapes and bruises
In addition to the physical injuries that are caused by assaults and violent acts by person(s) in the workplace, serious and disabling psychological damage may also occur. Victims of workplace violence face a higher risk for having post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Emotional problems that are brought about by workplace violence include depression, loss of sleep, self doubt, irritability, fear, post traumatic stress syndrome, increased absenteeism and decreased ability to function at work. Assaults and violent acts by person(s) also result in upset, disturbed relationships with friends, co-workers and family.
If you were injured on the job as a result of assaults and violent acts by person(s), you may want to know if this entitles you to get workers comp benefits. If you were injured by violence that was associated with your job, you would be covered by workers comp. However, if you were injured because a clearly private dispute spilled over into your workplace, workers comp probably will not cover your injuries.
In situations where you would not be covered by workers comp, you may be entitled to recover damages by pursuing a common law negligence claim. The best thing to do is to contact a workers compensation attorney and discuss your case with him or her. A workers compensation attorney will evaluate your case and know the best way to proceed.