Women and Workplace Assault
April 22, 2019
Approximately two million American workers report being victims of workplace violence each year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). All types of workers in various industries may be subject to acts of physical violence in the workplace. However, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that females are disproportionately affected by assault at work. According to the NSC, 70 percent of nonfatal workplace assault injuries requiring days off from work in 2017 happened to women.
What is Workplace Assault?
A workplace assault occurs when someone intentionally inflicts, or threatens to inflict, a physical injury upon another at work. Injuries from assaults in the workplace vary in severity and can be the result of actions such as:
- Sexual assault
- Threats/verbal assault
According to the NSC, there were 18,400 work-related assault injuries and illnesses requiring time off from work in 2017. Women accounted for 12,820 of those injuries while only 5,530 were attributable to men. There was also a 60 percent increase in the number of women who were victims of workplace assault since 2011.
Workers in the service providing, education and health services, and health care and social assistance industries were most affected by assault at work. The most common types of workplace assault involved hitting, kicking, beating, or shoving, which typically resulted in soreness, pain, bruises, contusions, sprains, strains, and tears. According to the NSC, the body part most affected was the head (31 percent) and the upper extremities (25 percent).
On average, employees injured by workplace assault spent five days away from work. The NSC report shows that workers aged 25-34 sustained the most injuries during 2017, followed by the age groups 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, over 65, and 16-19, respectively.
Women Are Also Disproportionately Affected by Other Work Injuries
The NSC analysis reveals that women are not only more commonly the victims of workplace assault than men, but they are also disproportionately affected by other work-related injuries and illnesses, such as:
- Ergonomic issues, which can cause repetitive motion and musculoskeletal injuries (61 percent)
- Accidental injury caused by another person (59 percent)
- Falls on the same level (57 percent)
Women in certain positions also experience more nonfatal work-related injuries than men. Some of these sectors and the corresponding percentages of women affected include:
- Healthcare (80 percent)
- Education (61 percent)
- Management/Business/Finance (60 percent)
Employers should review these historical safety trends to determine whether their existing rules, policies, and training are adequate. The interim president and CEO of the NSC says that although workplaces should be safe for everyone, the NSC data shows that more must be done to protect women. He urges employers to examine the hazards and risks of their workplaces to ensure that all employees are safeguarded.
Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Women Obtain Compensation for Workplace Assault Injuries
If you were assaulted at work, contact a compassionate Reading workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. You may be entitled to various workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expense coverage and wage loss compensation for the time you missed from work. We proudly represent all types of workers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
We provide skilled representation to clients across Pennsylvania, including those in Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.