Workplace violence is defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite.
Violence has had a major impact on the workplace, accounting for about 9% of all workplace fatalities in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The National Safety Council reports that in 2016, 17% of workplace deaths were the result of violence.
One of the most dangerous industries when it comes to workplace violence is healthcare. In fact, the annual incidence of physical assault in a psychiatric setting is 70%. And 78% of Emergency Department physicians and 100% of Emergency Department nurses have experienced violence from patients within the last year.
According to OSHA, about 2 million people each year report some type of workplace violence. It is estimated that 25% of workplace violence goes unreported. Utilize these 10 tips to help mitigate the risk of workplace violence and help enhance your security.
1. Review and reissue your Workplace Violence Prevention and/or Harassment Policy Statement annually.
2. Remind supervisors of their responsibility to report, document, and investigate every violent complaint.
3. Take the time to review recent incidents to identify potential gaps in your current security solution.
4. Remind employees that reporting at-risk situations is their responsibility in emphasizing their value.
5. Conduct a workplace assessment by visual observation and employee questionnaire in identifying potential hazards.
6. Review your visitor screening policy to include a solution that checks for violent acts or harassment, even from former employees and spouses.
7. Keep a record of all screenings so you know who to allow and deny into your facilities.
8. Update your emergency evacuation plans to include drills for Hostile Intruder and Safe Room Procedures.
9. Review the last emergency evacuation drill was conducted and determine if you and your employees are prepared for violent or hostile intruder threats.
10. Update your New Employee Orientation to include Workplace Violence Policy, Procedures and Guidelines.
In an effort to address the increasing percentage of workplace violence, and to protect workers from violence, OSHA recently launched an initiative against workplace violence and has identified numerous industries and businesses with a high potential for workplace violence. Such businesses include those where workers exchange money with the public or work at night, and healthcare and social workers who deliver services to the public. Using security technology solutions like FedCheck can help mitigate the risk of workplace violence in these industries by performing a full background check and visitor screening on anyone coming to visit.