Regular readers of our Tulsa workers' compensation law blog know that our focus is on helping readers find useful information on workplace injuries and illnesses and other issues related to workers' comp benefits. An issue too often ignored by the news media is workplace violence.
The issue is ignored until a violent incident occurs and news stations rush to send a cameraman and reporter. Unfortunately, workplace violence is not as sporadic as the media's attention. It's a constant danger in offices, factories, stores and all other places of employment across Oklahoma.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines workplace violence as "any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site." OSHA notes that the violence can affect employees, customers, visitors and clients.
The threat of workplace violence is real: it is the fourth leading cause of fatalities in on-the-job fatalities. Of the more than 4,600 workplace fatalities in 2014 across the United States, 403 were homicides.
The federal agency notes that the problem is even bigger than that, with nearly 2 million workers reporting workplace violence annually. People in certain industries are at higher risk, including those who handle money in transactions with the public, as well as delivery drivers, public service workers, workers in health care, law enforcement personnel, customer service agents and those who work alone or in isolated places, or who work where alcohol is served.
If you have suffered an injury due to an incident of workplace violence, you can speak with a Tulsa workers' comp attorney experienced in defending client rights and fighting for maximum benefits.