Unsafe equipment, inattention, and toxins are among the most common causes of workplace injuries. Co-workers may also be responsible for workplace accidents because of their negligence or misconduct.

A colleague can cause injuries that result in physical, emotional, and/or financial harm. Some of the most common injuries are caused by physical violence, verbal insults, sexual harassment, and exposing other workers to hazards through neglect or inattention. injuries also include discrimination where an employee is assigned more duties than other similarly-placed workers or does not receive benefits that are given to other employees.

Employers bear the legal responsibility of assuring that there is always a safe environment for all workers, clients, and visitors. As a result, employers must take reasonable steps for accident avoidance. They must assure that all employees are properly trained, repair or replace broken equipment, install warning signs where needed, implement federal and state safety and health regulations, and have a communication system that addresses accident and injury reports. In furtherance of these efforts, employers should also promptly investigate and discipline misconduct.

Employers are responsible for their employees’ actions at work and outside of work when they are acting in their official capacity. Employers are also liable when an employee harms a co-worker outside of work because of their work interactions. Employers are also accountable for misconduct if it occurs before or they had warning that it would take place and they took insufficient action.

Injured workers should act immediately to protect themselves. They should seek medical assistance if they were hurt and notify their employer of the incident as soon as possible. A workers’ compensation claim needs to be timely filed if an injured worker hopes to recover benefits to offset his or her medical expenses and lost wages. As such, the incident should be documented in a report or letter. Witnesses need to be identified and their contact information kept for future reference. Photographs and video are also helpful.

An injured worker may be entitled to compensation for loss of income, medical expenses, damage to personal property, and pain and suffering when an employer is liable for their injuries. An attorney can help pursue a legal action for these damages.