All workers are entitled to a safe worksite, and employees are generally entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits whenever they get hurt while performing workplace tasks or work duties. While most people think of work injuries as something that happens because of a fall or because equipment malfunctions, there are also other common causes of workplace accidents and workplace harm. For example, one big risk for employees- especially in certain professions — is the risk of being hurt by workplace violence.
When you are harmed by an act of violence in the workplace, you need to speak with a New York workers’ compensation law firm to find out what options you have for recovering compensation. Workers’ comp benefits should cover the costs of medical bills, disability income, and certain other damages caused by a work injury.
Workplace Violence and New York Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Recently, NBC News reported on an incident of workplace violence that occurred in the Bronx. The incident involved a supermarket employee who tried to stop the theft of a box of cereal.
At approximately 5:30 PM on a Friday, the worker spotted a man who was trying to put a box of cereal into his pocket without paying for the product. The worker took action and tried to prevent the man from stealing the cereal. The thief, however, took a small blade out and proceeded to slice the left side of the worker’s face. The thief subsequently fled the scene of the incident and it is reported that no arrests have yet been made in the incident.
Fortunately, the worker was not seriously injured in this particular incident. Tragically, however, acts of workplace violence do occur frequently and often cause serious injuries or even death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicates that almost two million workers throughout America are victims of workplace violence each year. Workplace violence is also the fourth-leading cause of fatalities on-the-job and was the cause of 403 out of the 4,679 deadly workplace injuries that happened in the U.S. over the course of 2014.
There are things employers can do to try to prevent workplace violence, including identifying risk factors and taking steps to reduce the dangers. Establishing zero tolerance policies for violence is a good start. For employees in high risk professions, including workers who work alone frequently in retail stores or locations where there is cash, employers may use security cameras, may limit cash kept on premises, and may even employ security guards.
Regardless of what an employer does or does not do to prevent violence, however, an employee who is harmed by violence which occurred as a result of his work duties can still pursue a workers’ comp case. This is because there is no need to prove negligence to make a successful workers’ comp claim for benefits. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff can provide help in making a case, so call our office as soon as possible if you’ve been victimized by any acts of violence at your workplace.