Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Workplace ViolenceApril 12, 2017
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists homicide as the fourth most common cause of fatal workplace injuries. The agency defines workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite.” This was the case recently at a South Florida fitness club where a workplace shooting took place on April 9, 2017. The Equinox gym in Coral Gables is an exclusive workout location catering to top business leaders, entertainers and politicians. That afternoon, a disgruntled trainer who had recently been fired returned to his former workplace and shot his two managers before fatally shooting himself. The managers were rushed to the hospital but sadly did not survive.
Miami-Dade police said that it was not a random act of violence and that the two managers had been targeted by the shooter. Sources say that days before the shooting there had been an altercation at the club involving the trainer that stopped short of being violent. The incident prompted his firing. Club members described the trainer as professional and reserved and had witnessed no prior indications of violence or temper. The incident at Equinox came just days after another workplace shooting in Miami-Dade. On April 2 at Chili’s Grill and Bar a male and female employee were arguing. The female employee called her boyfriend who arrived at the restaurant, shot the male employee and then raced out.
Workplace Violence in America
The two shootings are unfortunately not isolated events in America. According to the latest statistics available from OSHA, there were 403 workplace homicides in 2014. That means more than one person every day dies at work due to violence. Moreover, 2 million people report being victims of workplace violence every year, and officials suspect many more cases go unreported. According to OSHA, workers at highest risk of being victims of violence at work include those who exchange money with the public, healthcare workers, delivery drivers, public safety workers, and those who work alone or in small groups.
The FBI breaks down workplace violence into four categories.
- Violence by a present or former employee against co-workers or supervisors
- Violence by someone related to an employee against people in the workplace
- Violence by someone who has no connection to the workplace, as in a robbery
- Violence against service employees by their customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, etc.
Preventing Workplace Violence
It is an obligation of employers to provide a work environment free from threats and violence. The following steps can be taken to help prevent workplace violence:
- There should be a formal workplace policy against violence that is clearly communicated to employees.
- The workplace culture should be one of inclusiveness and trust where bullying has no place.
- All staff should take part in workplace violence prevention and training programs.
- Employees should be screened for a history of violence while adhering to privacy and antidiscrimination laws.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Pursue Justice and Compensation for Victims of Workplace Violence
If you or someone you know has been a victim of workplace violence, you may be entitled to compensation. The Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can review your case and provide you with experienced counsel about your claim. Call 844-556-4LAW (4529) to schedule a consultation or contact us online.