OSHA ups workplace violence prevention efforts

New online resources may help prevent healthcare workplace violence, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has said.

New online resources may help prevent healthcare workplace violence, the  Occupational Safety and Health Administration has said.

Its new webpage, titled “Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare,” is set as a companion guide for OSHA's workplace violence guidelines, updated earlier this year. The resources include a summary of the issue of workplace violence, and a “Road Map,” which highlights real-world scenarios of violence prevention programs.

The Road Map highlights efforts taken by skilled nursing operator Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation, including incorporating nonviolent crisis intervention and de-escalation training to all of its employees. Those policies have resulted in the company's injury rates and employee turnover rates below the national average, the report notes.

The new resources also include a report detailing how workplace violence prevention strategies can be incorporated into a healthcare facility's existing strategies, like compliance, accreditation and care quality.

“It is not right that these valuable workers continue to be injured and sometimes killed on the job,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels Ph.D., MPH, said. “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.”

Workplace violence remains among the top concerns of healthcare workers, according to the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare. A survey of nurses released last year found that nearly 80% experienced violence, including verbal  and physical abuse from patients and visitors, on the job in the prior 12 months.