When people think about work-related accidents or injuries, they often imagine machine accidents, falls, sprains and strains. But the risks to workers can extend far beyond these. In fact, female truck drivers face one particularly dangerous threat on the job: violent attacks.
Understanding the risk
One investigation uncovered what it called a “disturbing pattern of workplace violence” involving female commercial truckers. Among their findings was evidence of assaults by co-drivers or trainers. Female drivers also reported assaults during training sessions and while on the road.
Victims of these acts of violence often report severe injuries, including:
- Emotional distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
These injuries can be devastating and keep a victim from returning to work.
What employers can do
Employers can play a tremendous role in preventing these situations. For instance, they can:
- Conduct thorough background screenings
- Supervise workers appropriately
- Train all employees on identifying and appropriate behavior and avoiding physical altercations
- Ensure workers know where to file a report regarding workplace violence and injuries
- Establish zero-tolerance policies for misconduct
Further, employers would be wise to take every report of harassment or violence against workers seriously. They have a responsibility to provide employees with a safe workplace, and failure to do so could land them in legal hot water.
Violence and workers’ compensation
In many cases, people often focus on the claims they may have against their attacker following a physical assault. However, if this situation happened while someone was working, they could also have a claim for workers’ compensation in Michigan.
That said, know that this can be a tricky process. Employers might discourage you from reporting your injuries; insurance companies might wrongfully deny the claim. And you may be unsure of your rights, especially if you don’t think of a workplace assault as a work-related accident.
However, knowing the risks and possible remedies of on-the-job assaults can help you protect yourself and your rights.