WC Magazine

AUG-SEP 2016

WC is published six time a year and covers the trends and topics of interest to professionals responsible for the cost-effective resolution of workers’ compensation claims.

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40 WC August 2016 | September 2016 TheCLM.org The Forum Answering the Question, "What types of workers' compensation claims have you seen involving workplace violence?" I n each issue of WC magazine, we gather a cross section of the sharpest minds in the workers' compensation community and press them with questions on matters that affect the industry. In this issue, e Forum asks about violence in the workplace. Richard Lenkov: Let's start with Bill. How do you perceive work- place violence today? William W. Schrimpf, Sr.: e vast majority of workplace violence that I have seen in my 30 years deals primarily with issues between co-workers that boil over at work. Occasionally, I have seen random acts of violence that are not personal to the workforce, such as robbery, shootings, vehicular impacts with buildings, and personal assaults. I have not been involved in anything like the mass shootings in California or Colorado, which is alleged to have occurred over religious pursuits or otherwise. ose types of incidents are the rarest of rare so, while they are highly publicized, I do not anticipate a rise in such types of incidents in our industry. Lenkov: Do you perceive more or less workplace incidents? Schrimpf: I see no more workplace inci- dents now than in the past. ey are rare and almost always tragic and heartbreak- ing. I do believe the spotlight is upon them when they occur especially with tensions overseas in the Middle East and the over- whelming cultural clashes we see on the front page and in the nightly news. Grant Welle: While the workplace vio- lence topic remains a persistent and grow- ing concern for organizations, statistically I believe the number of incidents is flat or even slightly less than in recent years. Michael Lowry: If anything, it seems that the severity of injuries in the extreme events has increased, leading to more public attention. However, the incident frequency may be in line with historical norms. Howard Ankin: Workplace violence is getting more attention because today's society demands accountability. e law continues to expand notions of compen- sability to keep pace with cultural wishes. More compensable claims beget more claims made. Lenkov: What are you doing to minimize the risk of workplace violence? Schrimpf: You can never have enough safety and safety training. ere can be no laxity in procedures, such as who should be where, safety gear, gate checks, head counts, and other supervisory responsibilities. Safety is everyone's responsibility, and it starts at the top. Welle: Having a comprehensive program in place before an incident occurs can help safeguard employees and customers, protect your brand, and mitigate business interruption. at plan could include zero tolerance toward violence, educating your workforce, assessing threats, careful hiring, and more sensitive dismissals. Lenkov: How do you investigate a workplace violence claim? Schrimpf: I have one rule with my team when investigating claims: You treat them all the same. Give them the same attention to detail and follow the protocols set in place for that claim as per our guidelines. is is true be it a death claim, a catastroph- Richard Lenkov, Capital Member, Bryce Downey & Lenkov LLC Rich's practice areas include, among others, insurance litigation and workers' com- pensation. He has nearly 20 years of experience achieving successful outcomes for his clients, and serves on the ad- visory board of CLM's Workers' Compensation Community. Moderator

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