Earlier in the year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported fining a company whose service coordinator employee was fatally stabbed by a client. The charges were based on the premise that the company should have recognized that certain conditions and situations could pose a hazard to the employees and that a workplace violence program should have been in place to address potential hazards and assist employees who may be concerned about their safety. The client, who had a known history of violence, had posed a threat to the employee on previous occasions, evidenced by the employee’s notes in the company log. She indicated that she would like to be accompanied by another co-worker on her visits to this particular client.
Certain professions pose certain risks and situations where employees may feel threatened, but employees but don’t always make their cases verbally known. They feel that doing so might imply a lack of confidence in the job or an inability for them to perform the job at all. If you work in an area or field where you feel certain conditions pose hazards, emotionally or conditionally, here are some ways to keep yourself safe:
- Be sure to document any concerns in your detailed notes. These notes could later prove to help your case, should any situation need to be brought the forefront of the Human Resources Department.
- Enlist in any and all safety training provided by your place of employment. If your place of employment does not provide safety courses, take some self-defense and other classes on your own.
- Insist on having a co-worker with you if you feel at all threatened in certain situations.
- If you feel a certain person poses a threat, meet the person in an open area or public venue. If you must meet at work, be sure you are visible to others at all times when in the company of that person.
If you have been injured as a result of your employer not taking the proper measures to ensure the safety of you and your follow co-workers, you’ll want to seek the advice from your attorney in New York to help you deal with workers’ compensation, medical bills and the other party’s defense.
Your place of employment should not be a hazard. But, when it is, seek the help of a competent law firm to assist you.