Workers' Comp

Not all victims of workplace trauma sustain physical injuries

February 17, 2020

Nearly two million Americans experience violence in the workplace annually.1 According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, workplace violence is the second-leading cause of occupational injury each year.2 Crisis intervention mitigates the harmful effects of traumatic stress, provides support, and offers encouragement to accelerate recovery. Doing so is not only the right thing to do, but it can also prevent losses to productivity at both an individual and organizational level. Besides outward physical violence, mental trauma should also be considered and treated.  Remember, a traumatic event does not just affect the people directly involved, it can also have an impact on bystanders and people close to those involved. Having face-to-face counseling sessions provide “psychological first aid” to impacted parties. occupational fatal injuriesYou don’t have to be physically injured to suffer a mental blow Beyond physical violence, crisis intervention is necessary when a traumatic incident occurs at work. Read on for a real-life scenario that a Coventry Crisis Response Manager responded to. The Crisis Response Manager was called to a small family owned truck stop, where due to a violent incident, an employee had been killed at work. She individually met with the three other employees. In her words, each of their needs were vastly different. One of the men was good friends with the deceased. The Crisis Response Manager was able to educate him on ways he could process his feelings related to his own and further support the wife of the deceased. The second employee was a young woman who felt the deceased was like a father to her. They talked about her grief over her loss, as well as her being estranged from her own father. The third employee was a man who initially did not want to speak with her. He thought it was a waste of time. When they did begin talking, he revealed that not only was he present when his coworker was killed but he also attempted to give aid. He then began talking about his experiences in the military. He became very emotional and admitted he had issues with alcohol. The Crisis Response Manager single handedly helped all of them get on the right track with navigating their feelings about the traumatic event. She discussed various feelings of sadness and loss and provided education regarding positive and negative coping strategies. Each staff member thanked her for her time and shared that they were glad to have met with her. In this specific situation, the employer reached out to Coventry in response to the visit and said, “Thank you for helping our employees through a time like this. I will contact you if we need further assistance. Thanks again for all you do.” Trust Coventry when you need us most If your workers’ compensation program does not include crisis intervention, please feel free to reach out to Coventry at 888.552.5378 for more information regarding this very important and relevant benefit.

1OSHA,, 2011 2National Center for Victims of Crime (2013). 2013 NVVRW Crime Review.