In the past few months, violence in the workplace has escalated to levels practically unheard of until now. The pandemic over the past two years is considered the main cause of people’s frustrations, which is likely. The pandemic is simply a name applied to represent all that went with it, such as lockdowns, loss of work and salary, having to wear masks and plastic gloves, watching cities burned and destroyed, and dealing with personal tragedies when loved ones died.
It is also a lack of respect for others who are in the same situation. The outcome is more violent crime, even at the workplace. For some workers, physical assaults on the job are not what they signed up for and they may suffer trauma from these violent events.
An ABC News article, posted on December 10, 2021, stated that 85 percent of 5,000 flight attendants had encountered unruly passengers, along with 17 percent of them personally assaulted while on the job. Over 2021, there were 5,114 unruly passengers and a total of 3,710 cases of people unwilling to wear a mask. Penalties were applied to 239 cases out of 973 investigations, according to the article.
In such close quarters as an airline cabin, especially when 30,000 miles above the ground, it is hard to get out of the way, especially when things get violent. One unruly drunk male passenger found himself tied up with duct tape by other passengers after he had a physical run-in with three flight attendants on a Frontier Airlines flight. Aside from any physical encounters, it can be easy to understand when workers have suffered such events, that trauma would also be an outcome of such events.
For police officers and even firefighters, going out each day to answer public calls for help can lead to assaults on officers and even death. Since January 1, 2022, 24+ police officers have been shot, including three who were killed while on patrol, along with one off-duty officer caught up amid a robbery, who also died of gunshot wounds. In 2021, 62 died on duty by a firearm, according to ABC News.
Firefighters face tremendous risks while putting out house and field fires but rarely think about getting shot to death as a part of their job. In Stockton, California, a firefighter was shot and killed while responding to a dumpster fire call during January 2022, according to an LA Times news article. Other firefighters present during that time could also suffer trauma when they now must also think about watching their backs while fighting fires.
While Arizona police officers and firefighters have had trouble getting workers’ compensation coverage for trauma, stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in past years, cases are now reviewed with better outcomes. If you have suffered any work-related trauma, call an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney to get help with your case.
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