Social Workers Face Dangers on the Job

Common dangerous industries for workers include construction, fishing, and farming. Recent attention has been brought to healthcare workers and other social service employees who face dangerous conditions in the workplace. A new study indicates that employees Child Protective Services are often in tense and stressful situations that could place them in harm’s way.

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Any employee who is injured while performing work related duties is entitled to employment benefits. Workers who are injured by violent crimes and assault may also pursue compensation. Our Asheville workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced in handling claims on behalf of injured workers. We are also dedicated to raising awareness surrounding workplace safety.

According to a recent report, social workers, including trainings and especially Child Protective Services employees are often faced with highly dangerous work conditions. Furthermore, state agencies are not equipped with sufficient safety policies and protections for these workers. These conditions are forcing many workers out of the agency, which threatens the ability of the agency to properly investigate cases and allegations of child abuse.

After reviewing the reports from CPS workers, a number of safety concerns and issues were unveiled. Many CPS workers will meet clients in their homes during late hours and through the week. The workers don’t know if the clients will be intoxicated, on drugs or if they pose a threat due to a mental illness. Possibilities of violence against case workers are a serious risk creating an unpredictable and unsafe work environment.

Unlike police offers who deal with unruly and unpredictable encounters with violent suspects, CPS workers are not able to carry any defense weapon. While cops have guns, tasers, or pepper spray CPS workers have only limited self-defense training. They may focus on psychology and understanding the point of view of their clients rather than the physical defense tactics that can become critical when on the job.

Reports also indicated that many CPS workers are not in contact with their agency by phone. Each worker has to make an individual choice whether they will use a state issued cell phone and many are in touch with clients by their personal phone. This can expose workers to additional dangers and threats of violence. Many CPS workers drive identifiable vehicles which can make them easy to identify, track or follow. This can be especially dangerous in small communities, where CPS worker live close to those they are observing or investigating.

The National Association for Social Workers has released a set of guidelines for worker safety; however it is unknown whether these guidelines are being met and followed in North and South Carolina. Agencies statewide must make an effort to promote safety and ensure that employees are safe while on-site and while making home visits. This can be accomplished by establishing safety policies and keeping track of potentially dangerous individuals in the system.

Social workers should be aware of the potential risks they face while on the job. Any potential threats should be reported and CPS workers should immediately report any assault or act of violence. Any employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an accident or injury. An experienced advocate can investigate your case and effectively protect your rights.

If you or someone you love was injured on the job, contact our Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blogs:

Contact with Object or Equipment Causes Substantial Workplace Fatalities, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Blog, October 7, 2013.

Fatal Transportation injuries are Primary Cause of Workplace Fatalities
, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Blog, October 1, 2013.

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