South Carolina Worker's Compensation: Workplace Violence
When people think of on-the-job injuries, they typically think of accidental injuries that can occur within the workplace such as those resulting from overuse or strain, slips and falls, fires and electrical issues, or exposure to hazardous substances. While these are all common types of workplace accidents, increasing numbers of workers are facing potentially serious injuries as the direct result of workplace violence.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to help employees who have been the victims of violent actions, either by other employees or outside forces. As these types of injuries continue to threaten our nation’s health and safety, it is important to be aware both of how to protect yourself against workplace violence, as well as your rights to South Carolina worker’s compensation in the event that you are injured.
Facts About Workplace Violence
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace violence affects as many as two million workers each year in the United States. Violent altercations and attacks can occur anywhere and in any situation. Anyone whose job requires them to deal with the public may put them at increased risk to experience workplace violence, but any type of employee could find themselves in a potentially hostile and life-threatening situation.
The U.S. Department of Labor advises that workplace violence can take the following forms:
- Physical assaults
- Violence using a dangerous weapon
- Sexual abuse
- Stalking and intimidation
- Theft motivated crimes
- Threatening language and behavior
- Workplace acts of sabotage
Ways You Can Protect Yourself Against Workplace Violence
While you may not always be able to prevent a violent act from occurring, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your fellow employees. OSHA recommends implementing the following actions:
- Make sure your employer has specific guidelines on how to handle violence in the workplace, including instructions for reporting suspicious behaviors
- Maintain minimal on-hand cash levels, and make sure employees are accompanied when making cash drops or deposits
- For those working in the field, go in groups of two or more into potentially dangerous areas or when working at night
- Make sure all field staff and any vulnerable employees have hand-held phone, alarms, or other safety devices
In the event you are injured by an act of workplace violence, you need to be aware of your rights to worker’s compensation. Under South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, employees are entitled to benefits for injuries due to violent acts, including medical expenses, lost wages, and disability.
Get Help From a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you or someone you care is injured on the job, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm. Our experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys can act as a legal advocate on your behalf, helping to protect your legal rights and helping you get the benefits you may deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.