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What protects Illinois workers from violence in the workplace?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Workers Compensation |

Some people go into professions that they know will put them at a heightened risk of experiencing interpersonal violence. Law enforcement professionals and those working in the private security sector often accept the possibility that they may have to engage with a violent or aggressive person as part of their employment.

However, people in many professions can sometimes face violence in the workplace even if security isn’t part of their work responsibilities. Teachers may have to deal with unruly students or members of the public. Hospital workers could encounter someone experiencing a psychotic episode or under the influence of mind-altering substances who behaves aggressively. Even bus drivers in Illinois could end up attacked by someone while they simply want to do their jobs.

Overall, the risk of violence at work has risen in recent years. What protects Illinois workers from violence on the job?

The law and employers provide protection

Both state and federal statutes criminalize certain types of behavior. In theory, laws prohibiting theft and assaults can deter some crime. Employers often implement certain company practices intended to limit the risk of certain types of criminal activity.

For example, employers might limit access to a business or to certain spaces, such as a pharmacy, to prevent theft attempts by volatile addicts. Companies might use security cameras to deter impulsive criminal activity and even employ security professionals to physically remove those who pose a threat to others or to intervene in incidents should they occur.

Workers’ compensation also helps

Even the best policies cannot prevent all incidents involving workplace violence. Therefore, employees need protection from the possibility of an assault or similar incident while working. Workers’ compensation coverage can help pay for someone’s medical treatment after a violent incident at work.

If they require time away from their job to recover, they may also be eligible for disability benefits. Employees seeking workers’ compensation coverage do not need to lay the blame on their employers for and incident or prove that a company failed to protect them. They simply need to establish that their medical issues are a direct result of their work.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help someone get proper treatment and pay their bills after an incident at work. Employees who know their rights might have an easier time standing up for themselves when something unfortunate happens at work.