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When most employees file for workers' compensation benefits, it's for injuries like slipped discs, fractures from on-the-job falls or sprains and strains from improper lifting techniques.
But there are other, far more insidious injuries that occur at work that can result in claims for workers' comp — injuries from workplace violence.
In a single year, data provided by the government indicated that 517 workers lost their lives due to murder by co-workers or associates. This figure has actually dropped by more than half since 1994.
Despite the encouraging statistics on workplace fatalities, one survey conducted by nonprofit American College researchers discovered an alarming uptick of incidents of physical altercations, harassment and bullying.
One individual studying violence in the workplace at the institution for professionals training in financial services said, "We are absolutely in . . . among the highest periods of threats at work in certainly recent memory."
Yet many companies haven't kept up the pace with implementing formal programs that address the problem of violence on the job.
Experts believe much of on-the-job violence can be deterred by astute co-workers who recognize the danger signs that often precede these spates of violence. One expert who has studied "thousands of cases of persons at risk at work," finds that over 80 percent of incidents were preceded by signs of trouble from the violent employee.
Subtle signals can include overreactions to constructive criticism, misdirected anger at co-workers expressed on social media or personal blogs, bullying, obsessive behaviors toward co-workers and others or even with policies in the workplace.
If you are injured in an episode of workplace violence, a Wisconsin employee law attorney can help you get the benefits to which you are entitled.
Source: CNN, "When co-workers kill: Workplace violence on the rise," accessed March 10, 2017