OSHA Provides Tools to Prevent Workplace Violence

February 11, 2016

OSHA Provides Tools to Prevent Workplace Violence

With incidents of workplace violence increasing around the country, the need for facilities managers to create and revise Code Silver (active shooter) plans, then practice them with their healthcare facilities staff has become more critical than ever.

If you’re stuck on how to begin formulating a plan, OSHA recently debuted its Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare webpage (part of the agency’s overall Worker Safety in Hospitals) that offers some valuable guidance.

The centerpiece is an updated Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers, a 60-page guide that describes the growing wave of violence and a five-step plan for reducing it.

  • Management Commitment and Worker Participation
  • Worksite Analysis and Hazard Identification
  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Safety and Health Training
  • Recordkeeping and Program Evaluation

Deadly Numbers

Should you need reasons for justifying the value of Code Silver/workplace violence plans for your healthcare facility — apart from watching the nightly national news — to administrators, here are three sets of numbers straight from OSHA’s online Guidelines booklet you’ll want to share with them:

1. Workplace violence involving the medical professions alone amounted to more than 10 percent of all incidents.

2. Healthcare workers were 20 percent more vulnerable to incidents of workplace violence, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data collected from 1993-2009.

3. Lost days from work in the private sector in 2013 due to violence amounted to 3 per 10,000 full-time workers. During the same year, the average between healthcare and social assistance facilities hovered between 13-36 per 10,000 full-time workers.

A Guide is Only Good If It’s Used

Apart from reviewing all the relevant resources you can find and developing a plan, it’s important to remember that it’s just a starting point for everything you do to prevent workplace violence at your healthcare facility.

Once your plan has been formulated, it’s important to remember this is merely the beginning of a plan. Don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time, because you’ll be constantly tweaking it depending on your healthcare facility’s needs and investing the time to practice it.

Look for more suggestions about preventing workplace violence by subscribing to our Facebook and Twitter feeds that are frequently updated every week.

For more guidance on stopping workplace violence via Code Silver plans at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.