Statistics through the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) show that more than two million people become victims of workplace violence each year. While incidents of violence in a workplace can literally happen to anyone at any time, there are some occupations where the risk of suffering from, or being victimized by, another in an act of workplace violence are significantly increased.
Employees who are working with the public, specifically those who exchange cash transactions may be more likely to combat workplace violence incidents. Anyone who serves as a delivery driver for goods may also be at risk due to the constant contact with the public. This includes people who driver taxis, shuttles, or busses for the public and private citizens and exchange cash money. Typically many drivers, delivery personnel, and transportation providers work alone which increases their risk of harm. Late-night hours and work in high crime areas will also be a factor in becoming a victim of violence.
Service providers such as utility workers, cable installers, and other service provider who must visit customer's homes may be at risk for violence, robberies, or even serious verbal altercations. Other groups of employees that cater to the public who may be at increased risk for violence or even fatalities include healthcare workers, social service providers, and law enforcement officials who must deal with public concerns of mentally unstable patients.
While employers of these types of job positions should be offering high-skills training for protection and incident avoidance, in many cases the incidents will be unavoidable especially for workers going alone. Employees who do not feel comfortable in working alone should consider asking management for a partner to accompany them on certain visits. If there is concern of violence from a particular group of people, employees should use their gut instincts and request help. Employers who are not accommodating to your safety concerns can and should be reported to upper management or to OSHA.
If you feel you have been placed in a position to perform job duties in an unsafe location without assistance from another employee, contact our office to discuss your situation. You should never intentionally put yourself in harms way to get your job accomplished, regardless of the industry you are working in. Contact us toll free at 866-205-2415 or visit our confidential contact form online today to schedule a free consultation.