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Workplace violence or homicides

Workplace violence has become an epidemic in this country. Too often, we think of such cases as unavoidable - as a lone crazy with a gun who is bent on destruction. But the truth of the matter is employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment. Lack of security measures, lack of an emergency evacuation plan and other critical safety lapses can permit an act of workplace violence to occur or can otherwise make matters much worse.

The Massachusetts workplace violence attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman are committed to representing those who have suffered personal injury or wrongful death in the workplace. For every high-profile case reported in the media, there are a dozen cases of domestic violence, assault and intimidation that go unreported.

The Occupations Safety & Health Administration reports more than 2 million employees are victimized by violence each year. As incredible as it sounds, 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, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Violence in the Massachusetts Workplace

Employees at particular high risk for being victimized by violence in the workplace include:

  • Perhaps not surprisingly, law enforcement officers, security guards and bartenders are at highest risk.
  • Those who handle money are at higher risk.
  • Those who work at night are at increased risk.
  • About 1 in 4 victims are involved in sales.
  • About 70 percent of workplace homicides involve robbers or other assailants.
  • 21 percent of workplace homicides are committed by work associates.
  • Shootings account for 80 percent of workplace homicides.

The scenarios are endless but usually have at least one thing in common: A company's security measures were insufficient to protect employees from harm. Perhaps an all-night convenience store lacks security cameras or other means of deterring crime. Perhaps a food delivery business continues to insist its employees deliver to a neighborhood where employees have faced past violence or threats of violence.

Of course the cases we all know and remember are the instances in which a deranged former employee or an employee's spouse brings a gun to work and goes on a rampage. Even in these cases there is often ample evidence of risk. Employers can seek restraining orders against individuals, hire security and take other appropriate safety precautions.

In other cases, a lack of notification of the risks or a lack of appropriate evacuation measures have exacerbated such tragedies. Every company should have an evacuation plan, whether to deal with fire, weather or violence. And workplace safety programs should take special precautions in instituting additional safety measure to protect employees from violence while on the job.

If you are dealing with the serious injury or death of a loved one as a result of a workplace violence incident in Massachusetts, contact the Boston personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

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