Florida Work Place Violence Attorney
Inadequate Security in the Workplace
Employers have a legal duty to provide employees with a safe work place – protecting employees from preventable and foreseeable violence. Workplace violence is widespread and occurs more than most people believe. Unfortunately violence can strike anytime, anywhere and no one is immune.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
reports more than 2 million employees and workers are victimized by violence each year. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 400 employees are the victims of homicide in the workplace each year, making such violence among the leading causes of work injury nationwide.
OSHA has identified some risk factors that may increase the chance of workplace violence by workers. These can include:
- Exchanging money with the public
- Working with volatile, unstable people
- Working alone or in isolated areas
- Providing services and care
- Working where alcohol is served
- Time of day and location of work (working late at night or in areas with high crime rates)
OSHA also states that among those with higher risk are workers who exchange money with the public, delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, public service workers, customer service agents, law enforcement personnel, and those who work alone or in small groups.
Inadequate and negligent workplace violence can lead to personal injury
, property damage, and induced sense of fear than can impede employees work. Examples of these include threats, harassment, intimidation, bullying, stocking, partner violence, physical assault, sexual assault
, killings, murders and homicides.
Workplace violence often occurs due to the employers negligent hiring of the aggressive employee or negligently retaining of the aggressive employee after learning of the employees violent and dangerous behaviors. Some employers fail to perform adequate background checks including any past criminal behaviors by not completing a criminal background check.
In other instances, it is not the employees and co-workers who are committing the act of violence, but rather a spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, family member, friend, clients, customers, vendors, visitors, and even strangers. This often occurs as a result of a business’s inadequate security (unlocked doors
, inadequate parking lot
surveillance or security, failing to screen visitors, guests and non-employees, etc).
In an effort to raise awareness and to educate employees on work place violence the Department of Homeland Security funded a video named “Run. Hide. Fight.”
Here experts offer advice on what safely could be considered a worst-case scenario at the workplace and how to survive. (The video is a dramatization, but may be disturbing.) "Your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan," the narrator says. "The plan doesn't have to be complicated. There are three things you could do that make a difference: run, hide, fight."
If you or a loved one has been the victim of workplace violence as a result of inadequate security, contact our negligent security attorneys
to discuss your legal rights.