Workplace violence is more common than one might think. Employers have an obligation to take steps to keep their employees safe, especially for employees working in professions where a known risk of violence exists. When employers fail to take necessary precautions, they put their employees’ physical and emotional health at risk.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines “workplace violence” as being “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite,” ranging from verbal threats or harassment to physical assaults or homicide. Each year, almost 2 million employees across the US report being the victim of violence in the workplace.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that US employers take steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees. When these employers are aware that a risk of violence exists at their workplace, due either to the populations served by their organization or the nature of the work, those employers have a responsibility to implement security measures, training programs, and other risk-reduction policies to ensure that employees stay safe on the job. When they fail to take these measures, they put themselves at risk of receiving fines from OSHA, and they put their employees at risk of injury.
Employees of social service organizations and health care providers are considered some of the most at-risk of a serious injury resulting from an assault. These types of organizations are often open to the public and frequented by persons who struggle with substance abuse and mental illness.
If you’ve been a victim of workplace violence, or have been injured on the job in New York, contact the experienced and dedicated workers’ compensation, retirement, and disability attorney Peter M. Cordovano, Esq. at (845) 414-8482.