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The Essential Components of a Workplace Violence Program
3/23/2012
 
By: Ken Bukowski, VP, Healthcare, AlliedBarton Security Services
For many years, healthcare workers have been challenged with a significant rise of workplace violence. A 2012 study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. states that the health services industry has one of the highest incidence rates of assault by an individual.

Even though some states have enacted laws that require healthcare settings to implement a workplace violence program, there are still others that do not. Previously, we discussed the importance of having a workplace violence program in place and involving your security team in all aspects. At a minimum, a healthcare facility’s prevention programs should:

  • Have a zero tolerance policy.

  • Encourage employees to report all suspicious behaviors and have a reporting mechanism in place. There should not be any repercussions for those who report or experience workplace violence.

  • Involve the security team and local law enforcement.

  • Provide ongoing awareness and training to keep the issue, and prevention strategies, visible.

  • Involve all levels of employees to build a violence free workplace culture.

  • Be reviewed yearly to address facility changes or program issues.
According to OSHA, the goal of a workplace violence program is to eliminate or reduce employees’ exposure to conditions that lead to death or injury from violence by implementing effective security devices and administrative work practices, among other control measures. It is vital to note that each facility’s plan will vary, but there are five main components to an effective safety and health program:

  1. A commitment from all levels of management and full employee engagement

  2. Complete a worksite analysis to find existing or potential hazards

  3. Measures to prevent or control previously identified hazards

  4. Training and education for all employees at all levels

  5. Evaluation of the program to determine its effectiveness and necessary changes
Your security team can assist with ensuring individuals within your facility have fully adopted the components in your prevention plan and that all employees, at all levels, are aware of the plan.

For more information on the five components, visit www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3148.pdf.