Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees in the workplace. This includes protection from illness or injury due to workplace hazards, but it also applies to physical violence from either customers or coworkers.
Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn reported more than 40 incidents of workplace violence between February 7 and April 12, 2014. During this period, employees were routinely subjected to threats and intimidation from both patients and visitors.
After a nurse sustained brain injuries during an attack in February, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the facility’s safety procedures. OSHA’s inspectors determined that Brookdale had not taken appropriate measures to prevent assaults against its employees, resulting in one willful violation with proposed penalties of $70,000.
How Do I Prevent Violence in the Workplace?
OSHA requires every employer to reduce the likelihood of physical violence in the workplace by developing and implementing adequate safety measures. Options include:
Administrative controls – Reviewing past workplace incidents and evaluating existing controls can help employers develop policies that are more effective.
Engineering controls – Panic alarm systems and protective barriers can help protect employees when violence erupts. Employers can also design treatment areas to give employees the best chance of escaping a confrontation.
Personal protective equipment – Access to an appropriate method of calling security and personal safety alarms can be invaluable during a crisis.
Proper training – Workers should be trained how to manage stress and how to recognize potential violence triggers in the workplace. Employees should also have access to post-incident procedures and services to treat potential trauma.
If your employer’s negligence left you exposed to workplace violence, call Spevack Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys can help you build the strongest workers’ comp claim possible, and ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.
[Did You Know: In 2000, 48 percent of all injuries from occupational assaults occurred in health care and social services.]
Spevack Law Firm – Middlesex County Personal Injury Lawyers