Workplace violence is a significant source of job-related fatalities. A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics again found that a number of workers die each year as the result of violence.
Workplace violence can involve employees or visitors and can range from threats to homicide. The most common type of workplace violence involves firearms. The violent incidents that result in fatalities could be homicides, suicides, or a combination of the two.
Workplace violence can be a basis for worker’s compensation claims in South Carolina and elsewhere.
Workplace violence can be caused by a variety of factors. According to an article concerning violence in the workplace, violence can affect any company and occur at anytime.
One factor which contributes to workplace violence is a lack of pre-employment screening. Companies sometimes do not run complete background checks on potential employees prior to hiring. A new employee at the company could create a dangerous environment and may have a violent past or be prone to violence.
There are psychological tests available to ensure potential employees are not violent but these tests may not be fool-proof.
A second cause of workplace violence can be stress. Stress can be difficult to control in the workplace because many employees may be dealing with issues in their personal life. Overworked employees can also become very stressed and the combination of overwork and an employee’s personal issues can have disastrous results.
Another cause of workplace violence can be the lack of Employee Assistance Programs. Employee Assistant Programs give troubled employees the opportunity to discuss problems before the situation escalates into violence.
A fourth cause of workplace violence can be denial that the potential for violence exists. An organization’s ignorance of the potential for violence can leave employees in a vulnerable position and without the tools to diffuse situations.
Disgruntled former employees and customers are sometimes the cause of workplace violence. An employee who was laid off or fired may return to work for revenge. Although this type of workplace violence is highly publicized it is actually a less common cause of workplace violence than the other causes mentioned above.
The United States Department of Labor advises employers to take appropriate precautions. One of the first precautions should be enforcement of a zero tolerance policy towards workplace violence. A zero tolerance policy should not only cover employees but visitors as well.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a well-implemented violence prevention program can reduce incidents of workplace violence in Federal workplaces and the private sector.
It is critical that all employees are aware of violence prevention programs and know that all incidents of workplace violence will be investigated and addressed promptly.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1970. Since that time OSHA has been charged with overseeing workplace safety in the United States. Federal Law requires employers to ensure that the workplace is free of known dangers. In order to assure a safe workplace employees have the right to receive training about dangers in their workplace and ways to prevent potential harm.
If you have been injured on the job, contact the Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.