Are you a victim of Workplace Violence?

When you think of Workers Compensation, most people typically think of someone becoming injured while working – after having an accident.  Perhaps they were injured by a piece of equipment, fell from a ladder, or were involved in an auto accident.

However, workers’ compensation claims can also result from incidents of workplace violence.  The most common examples are those we hear about in the news – this worker opened fire on his former co-workers in Orlando, or search this wikipedia page for a number of prime examples, but frequently it is workers who turn on one-another that leads to the most common examples of workplace violence.

In the article cited above, there are several forms of inappropriate behavior that might tip you off to a potentially violent co-worker:

  1. Waving arms or fists
  2. Excessive profanity
  3. Screaming
  4. Verbal abuse of others
  5. Threats against people or property
  6. Any behavior that intentionally endangers another person
  7. Refusal to comply with a reasonable request
  8. Intimidation, either verbally, physical closeness or gestures
  9. Throwing objects
  10. Intentionally damaging property
  11. Stalking (presumably, after-hours)
  12. Any worker who might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs

If you are the witness of any of these types of behaviors, you must bring it to the attention of your management immediately! Even when brought to their attention, Employers will frequently disregard the complaints of workers.  So you must be persistent when you see dangerous behavior on the part of your co-workers.

There are a whole line of cases in North Carolina that fall within the scope of “Assault and Criminal Activity”.  Some of the cases are compensable, and some are not.  If you or someone you love is the victim of workplace violence, we recommend that you speak with an attorney who can evaluate your claim and advise you on the proper course of action to take.

10 Tips to help prevent Workplace Injuries

One of the best ways to avoid having navigate the minefield that is a workers compensation claim is to avoid getting hurt at work in the first place.  According to workers-comp-news.com, 165 Americans die each and every day from an occupational disease, and another 18 die from a work-related injury.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  Here are 10 quick tips that will help to keep you safe on the job:

  1. When you are lifting heavy objects, make sure to lift with your legs and knees, and not your back (how many times have we heard that?)
  2. Never twist your body while lifting something heavy.
  3. When sitting for long periods, make sure to take breaks every hour to get up and stretch.
  4. Reduce the amount of overhead work you must do by using a lift to get you closer to what you need to do.
  5. When you are picking up or setting down an object, make sure not to reach more than 10 inches from your body.
  6. Whenever possible, use ergonomically designed tools that are designed to fit the hand, body and job.
  7. Avoid overexerting yourself.  Many workplace injuries are caused when workers are tired, stressed or both.  If things are getting to tough for you, take a break.
  8. Drink plenty of fluids – especially when working in the hot sun.  Soda’s don’t count – make sure that you are drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  9. If you sit at a desk most of the day, make sure your chair is comfortable and the correct height.
  10. If you do see any unsafe conditions, make sure to report them to your supervisor immediately.  If your employer won’t do anything to fix it, you should contact your state workplace safety administration.

Thanks to workers-comp-news.com for providing some of the tips that were used in this post.