On-Air Slayings of Virginia Journalists Highlight Dangers of Workplace Violence
Recently, America witnessed yet another tragic instance of workplace violence with the on-air deaths of two television reporters in Virginia. The incident involved the brutal murder of two reporters by a former one, who reportedly shot himself during a police chase after the killings. The shooter took to social media before committing suicide to express grievances about his former colleagues that he claimed the lives of in cold blood.
Workplace murders are relatively rare in the United States, but they do occur at higher rates than many realize. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics data (link opens in a new window and downloads report), there were a total of 4,585 fatal injuries at work in 2013, including 404 workplace murders. Of these, 322 were listed as intentional shootings by another person. A surprisingly high number of women are victims of these killings, with 22 percent of female fatalities caused by murder.
Murder is not the only form of workplace violence. Other instances of violence in the workplace include assault, domestic violence, harassment, physical abuse and more. Risk factors for workplace violence include drug and alcohol use on the job, personality conflicts, mishandled termination or disciplinary action, grudges between employees and bringing guns to the workplace.
Employers Have a Duty to Protect Employees From Workplace Violence
Employers have a duty to protect their employees from threats of violence, including physical dangers posed by other employees. Employers should be alert for behaviors that could signify that an employee might present a hazard to fellow employees. Employers must additionally guard against the possibility of violence stemming from third parties that have contact with employees during the workday.
Supervisors should be trained to spot signs of instability and potential violence. Every workplace should have a plan in place to deal with potential violence and quickly diffuse the situation so that other employees are not injured. While human behavior is not always easy to predict, there are often red flags that should alert the vigilant employer or supervisor before actual violence occurs.
Some jobs are more prone to workplace violence than others. Jobs that involve volatile people, such as those at a mental health facility or law enforcement, are especially at-risk. Any job involving alcohol or late shifts could also involve the risk of violence.
Victims of workplace violence should be eligible to receive compensation through the workers' compensation system and, at times, against third parties. Consult with a personal injury and workers' compensation attorney after your incident to explore your legal rights.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Seeking Justice for the Victims of Workplace Violence
If you or a loved one has been injured while on the job due to workplace violence, the Georgia Workers' Compensation Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are here to help. Our firm has over 30 years of experience in the industry and are committed to helping our clients fight for justice. We accept cases across Georgia and in the Southeast. The sooner you act after your injury, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.