OSHA Revises Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence
May 14, 2015 02:53 PM
The Department of Labor, Occupation Safety and Heath Administration (OSHA) has issued a revised version of their Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers. This publication updates OSHA’s 1996 and 2004 voluntary guidelines for preventing workplace violence for healthcare and social service workers.
According to the OSHA guidelines, healthcare and social service workers face a significant risk of job-related violence. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as “violent acts (including physical assaults and threats of assaults) directed toward persons at work or on duty.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that 27 out of the 100 fatalities in healthcare and social service settings that occurred in 2013 were due to assaults and violent acts.
Statistics based on the BLS and National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data both reveal that workplace violence is a threat to those in the healthcare and social service settings. BLS data show that the majority of injuries from assaults at work that required days away from work occurred in the healthcare and social services settings. Between 2011 and 2013, workplace assaults ranged from 23,540 and 25,630 annually, with 70 to 74% occurring in healthcare and social service settings. For healthcare workers, assaults comprise 10-11% of workplace injuries involving days away from work, as compared to 3% of injuries of all private sector employees.
OSHA’s violence prevention guidelines are based on industry best practices and feedback from stakeholders, and provide recommendations for developing policies and procedures to eliminate or reduce workplace violence in a range of healthcare and social service settings.
The guideline reflects the variations that exist in different settings and incorporates the latest and most effective ways to reduce the risk of violence in the workplace. The OSHA guide outlines risk factors and workplace violence hazards, and offers a violence prevention program that can be implemented in institutional and community health care settings.
Click here for more information on preventing workplace violence.