Violence on the job has always been a safety concern for individuals in certain professions. Some jobs come with an obvious risk of violence. Those working in safety and security-related jobs, like police officers and bouncers, often worry about the possibility of encountering a violent individual and getting hurt as a result.
However, workplace violence is an issue in almost any profession. Customers can become violent when they don’t receive the service they want, while those intending to commit crimes may hurt those who work for a business. Such issues have gone from rarities to a major safety concern for modern professionals. In recent years, violence in the workplace has impacted people in many different professions, not just those working in law enforcement or security-related positions.
Sometimes, conflicts between co-workers escalate unexpectedly and lead to interpersonal violence. Other times, criminal activity, like an attempted robbery, might lead to violence in the workplace. There has been a noticeable increase in workplace violence and workers’ compensation claims after people get hurt on the job.
Hundreds of people die due to job violence each year
Robberies, fistfights and unprovoked assaults are all examples of situations where workers could end up hurt by the violence of another person. In 2020, the most recent year with data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 392 reported workplace deaths that occurred due to interpersonal violence.
The BLS also reported 37,060 injuries caused to workers by other people. Workers in sales professions had the highest risk of fatal violence on the job, while those in service professions and healthcare had the highest risk of non-fatal violent incidents.
Initial reports from 2021, 2022 and 2023 show a concerning continuation of this trend. Many thousands of workers risk their health and lives when they show up at work. Thankfully, workers’ compensation can help those affected by job-related violence.
Those hurt at work can apply for benefits to pay for their medical care and replace their lost wages while they recuperate. Individuals who lose a loved one due to a violent incident may qualify for death benefits. Workers’ compensation can help cover funeral costs and replace the wages that the worker would have earned if they had survived.
Being aware of the ever-changing risks at work may help people protect themselves and recognize when they may have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim.