Bullying bosses can certainly make a workplace unpleasant. But they can also increase the likelihood of workplace accidents and job injuries, according to findings from a Portland State University study.
Surveys of airline workers and manufacturing technicians revealed that abusive treatment from superiors inadvertently caused workers to neglect safety in ways that could endanger themselves and others.
Why? Employees who are routinely bullied by their bosses tend to lose their sense of belonging in the work group. This causes them to become more self-centered and less focused on overall safety. As a result, they pay less attention to workplace hazards, putting themselves and their colleagues at risk of injury.
Not only that, bullying can also increase the chances of workplace violence due to an employee’s diminished sense of self-worth.
The study underscores the devastating impact that stress can have not just on an individual worker, but on the entire workplace as a whole.
Stress and Workplace Accidents
Job-related stress can be attributed to 80 percent of workplace accidents, according to the American Psychological Association.
People who are bullied are more likely to be distracted at work. The Workplace Bullying Institute found that 37 percent of Americans have been affected by abuse at work, either by being the direct target of the bullying or a witness to it.
Put another way, bullying has kept more than one-third of American employees from paying attention to their jobs. In particularly hazardous work environments, such as a construction site, this amount of distraction can easily turn deadly.
Can S.C. Employees Get Workers’ Compensation for Job-Related Stress?
Making a workers’ compensation claim for a mental injury like stress is possible in South Carolina, but getting benefits can be tricky. Convincing an insurance company that bullying is a valid reason to compensate for the injury could be an uphill battle.
South Carolina law states that stress (with no other physical injury) can be covered under workers’ compensation if:
- The employee’s job situation that led to the stress injury was extraordinary and unusual compared to the normal work environment
- There is medical evidence connecting the stressful work conditions to the employee’s mental distress
If you’ve been bullied on the job and are diagnosed with work-related stress, the best way to find out whether you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits is to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Contact A Compassionate South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Employees have the right to a workplace that is safe not only from physical hazards, but also emotional ones. If you are suffering from a job-related psychological injury, let the dedicated attorneys at Stewart Law Offices help you.
Our devoted South Carolina workers comp lawyer treat clients like family. Just as we would never abandon a loved one during a time of need, we can make sure that you don’t have to navigate the workers’ compensation process alone.