Workplace violence can happen anywhere and at anytime. It can involve employees, clients, customers or visitors. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 2 million America workers report being victims of workplace violence each year, and its assumed that more cases go unreported. OSHA warns that workplace violence can strike anytime and no one is immune. Research has identified certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of violence for certain workers within certain occupations; such factors include businesses that run cash operations with the public (e.g. convenience stores, restaurants, bars, stores, etc.), and others include situations where workers work with unstable, volatile people. Working alone or in isolated areas may also contribute to the possibility of violence.
Research shows that the health care sector leads all other industry sectors in incidence of nonfatal workplace assaults with 48% of all nonfatal injuries from violent acts against workers occurring in this sector. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, mental health workers experienced the highest rate of simple assaults in the health care sector, with 43.2 assaults per 1,000 workers. According to research studies, psychiatric nurses report among the highest violent victimization rates among all types of nurses. Workplace violence is defined as violent acts, including physical assaults and threats of assault, directed toward persons in a workplace or on duty.
We often hear from clients who work in the health care industry or in the prison system who have been injured by violent residents or inmates. Anytime you are injured at work you should immediately report the injury to your employer and request treatment through their workers’ compensation insurance. If you have been physically assaulted by a fellow co-worker or by a resident, patient, inmate or even a customer, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system.
If you have questions about an injury occurring at work, we would be happy to assist you. Please contact Stark & Stark’s experienced attorneys today for your confidential no obligation consultation.