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Women: Know your options after a workplace assault

When people talk about workplace hazards that lead to serious injuries or illnesses, they often think of elements like heavy machinery or falling objects. However, many workplace incidents are not the result of an inanimate object. They are the result of other people.

For instance, did you know that assault is one of the common causes of non-fatal workplace injuries among women?

How big is the problem?

As noted in this article, women experience nearly three-quarters of all nonfatal injuries related to an assault. These injuries are serious enough to result in missed work.

Sadly, the problem doesn't seem to be getting any better, either. In fact, the number of women injured in a workplace assault increased by 60 percent between 2011 and 2017. 

The report goes on to specify the jobs in which women are most likely to be victims of nonfatal assault. These occupations include healthcare jobs, education and professional firms.

Preventing workplace assault

Considering how troubling the rate of workplace assault is for women, it is crucial for workers and employers to take steps to prevent these incidents from occurring. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other agencies recommend taking the following steps to reduce workplace violence: 

  • Enforce zero-tolerance policies regarding violence
  • Implement prevention programs
  • Install or improve surveillance systems
  • Ensure all areas in the workplace have good lighting
  • Make certain workers can access phones or alarm systems throughout the work site
  • Maintain adequate staff levels
  • Inspect and repair locks regularly

These measures can protect all workers from intruders and violent attacks. 

What to do if you are the victim of an assault

Even when people take these steps to prevent violence in the workplace, assaults can still occur. In these situations, it is crucial for victims to seek immediate medical attention and report the incident to their employers.

Depending on the details of a specific incident, injured workers can also explore their options for legal remedies. In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate. Filing a workers' compensation claim can also be worth considering. These and other measures can help victims secure the money they need to recover and potentially prevent co-workers from suffering similar incidents in the future.

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