Sadly, more than two million American workers experience the terror and danger of workplace violence each year, and homicide is the fourth leading cause of occupational deaths, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Health care workers, retail workers, teachers, mental health professionals, and delivery and taxi drivers are a few of the employees at high risk of being a victim of workplace violence. While non-subscriber employers cannot completely prevent these tragedies, they can take more steps to protect their staff.
Is Your Non-Subscriber Employer Doing Enough to Keep You Safe From a Workplace Violence Injury?
Many of the employees in Texas at risk of workplace violence are in lower paying jobs. Their employers are often non-subscriber employers who have opted out of providing workers’ compensation benefits. In addition to not providing decent wages or benefits, these employers may cut corners on doing what they should to keep their employees safe from a workplace attack. Steps employers can—and should—take to prevent violence include:
- Having a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence that includes workers, patients, customers, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who has contact with employees.
- Implementing a workplace violence prevention program.
- Training staff on the dangers of workplace violence and on what to do if they are in a dangerous situation.
- Having the reception area in a place that is visible to both the public and other staff in office settings.
- Creating barriers like pass-through windows and locked doors between employee-work areas and clients or visitors in office buildings, gas stations, and businesses when possible.
- Minimizing entrances to a workplace and requiring the use of keys or coded cards to gain access.
- Having adequate lighting in parking lots and entrances to workplaces.
- Keeping cash in registers to a minimum and utilizing electronic payments as a way to reduce cash that is available.
- Varying the time of day that the cash in registers or other containers are emptied.
- Using a private licensed security firm to collect cash.
- Having a system so that designated employees know where off-site employees are and adhering to a call-in schedule.
- Requiring employees to go out in pairs or groups whenever they would be in danger going somewhere on their own.
If you work for a non-subscriber employer, you will have to prove that your employer’s negligence contributed to your injuries in a workplace violence situation to hold your employer liable for compensating you. Showing that your employer failed to take steps to protect you could be the basis of a negligence claim. If you were the victim of violence at your job, contact us online or call 817.380.4888 to speak with one of our experienced non-subscriber workplace injury attorneys.