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Violence at work leads to many workers' compensation claims

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workplace violence in California and other states account for a significant number of deaths and injuries every year. Workers' compensation benefits claims following such incidents are also prevalent. OSHA's definition of workplace violence is any threat of violence or actual violence against workers. Such violence can occur both in and outside the place of work and could include verbal abuse, threats, physical assault and homicide.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says this type of behavior is possible in any workplace, and workers must never assume that it could not happen where they work. However, under certain circumstances, employees are more likely to be victims of workplace violence. People are unpredictable, and unfavorable life circumstances could bring about violent outbursts.

The FBI recommends that workers assess their workplace environments, noting that some are at higher risk than others. Working alone or with only a few colleagues, or those who work overnight or late-night shifts, must take extra care. Workers whose workplaces are in high crime areas, those that serve alcohol and people who provide health care services are also at higher risk. Any place where money is exchanged is dangerous, and if coworkers are unstable or irritable, it might be wise to be on the lookout for telltale signs of violence brewing.

California workers who are suffering the consequences of workplace violence may need financial assistance to cope with medical expenses and lost wages. Such incidents must be reported to a supervisor or employer immediately. Once that is done, the injured worker may file a benefits claim with the workers' compensation insurance program.

Source: safetyservicescompany.com, "Violence in the Workplace," J.R. Moody, accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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