Certain people are at higher risk of experiencing interpersonal violence on the job than others. A biological researcher who spends most of their time alone in the field or a medical transcriptionist who works from a home office will have very little risk of experiencing interpersonal violence at work.
However, those who frequently interact with other people have higher levels of risk. You might think that those who work in safety or law enforcement would have the highest overall risk for violence on the job. The industry with the highest reported rate of interpersonal violence at work will probably surprise you because it has nothing to do with law enforcement.
People trying to help others are the ones with the biggest risk
Retail workers, security professionals and even teachers are all in professions where violence from a co-worker or a member of the public is a noteworthy job risk. However, the industry that faces the highest level of violence is health care.
Hospital workers, nurses and those who work in rehabilitation centers are all in danger of experiencing interpersonal violence. They may have to provide care to criminals or to individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Patients afraid of being in state custody, those going through withdrawal and those experiencing severe mental health episodes can become aggressive and violent against the staff members who only want to help them.
Violence remains one of the top causes of lost work incidents in medical environments, causing nearly 10% of all time-off claims by hospital workers. Although they go to work every day with the intention of helping others, people in the medical profession could wind up unable to work and psychologically traumatized after they experienced violence on the job.
Workers’ compensation protects those impacted by violence at work
Workers’ compensation benefits aren’t just for those struck by a piece of machinery or hurt in a car crash while on the clock. Those impacted by workplace violence who require medical care and a leave of absence can also qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Learn about specific job risks to help keep you safe and get the benefits you deserve if you get hurt on the job.