Workplace violence Guidance Health care/social assistance Federal agencies

OSHA updates guidance on preventing workplace violence in health care, social services

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Washington – April is National Workplace Violence Prevention Month, and OSHA hopes to raise awareness by releasing updated guidance for health care and social service workers.

In 2013, workers suffered more than 25,000 occupational assault injuries, most of which occurred in the health care and social services industries, OSHA states in the publication, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The updated guidance includes best practices on reducing the risk of violence. OSHA recommends creating a written violence prevention program that includes:

  • Management commitment and worker participation, perhaps as part of a safety committee that hosts regular meetings
  • Worksite analysis and hazard identification, which could include employee surveys
  • Hazard prevention and control, such as transferring patients with a history of violent behavior to a more secure facility
  • Safety and health training on topics such as managing assaultive behavior

In related news, the Silver Spring, MD-based American Nurses Association published a draft position statement and guidance addressing workplace violence, bullying and incivility. Comments on the document are due April 30.