WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently unveiled a new webpage developed to provide employers and workers with strategies and tools for preventing workplace violence in healthcare settings.
The webpage, part of OSHA’s Worker Safety in Hospitals website, complements the updated Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers*, published earlier this year. The new webpage includes real-life examples from healthcare organizations that have incorporated successful workplace violence prevention programs, and models of how a workplace violence prevention program can complement and enhance an organization’s strategies for compliance and a culture of safety.
Similar to the guidelines, the new strategies and tools focus on workplace violence prevention programs that include elements such as management commitment and worker participation; worksite analysis and hazard identification; hazard prevention and control; safety and health training and recordkeeping and program evaluation.
“Too many healthcare workers face threats and physical violence on the job while caring for our loved ones,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “It is not right that these valuable workers continue to be injured and sometimes killed on the job. Most of these injuries are preventable and OSHA is providing these resources to help combat these incidents and raise awareness that violence does not need to be part of the job.”
From 2002 to 2013, incidents of serious workplace violence were four times more common in healthcare than in private industry on average, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Healthcare accounts for nearly as many serious violent injuries as all other industries combined. The webpage addresses this issue by providing hospital administrators with information on the risk factors, associated costs and actions that can be taken to manage the problem.
*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA’s Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.