OSHA releases five-part program for combating workplace violence for healthcare and social workers

Health and social care workers are more likely to suffer from workplace violence than other industries.

Health and social care workers are more likely to suffer from workplace violence than other industries.

According to The National Law Review, OSHA has created a five-step program for protecting healthcare and social service workers.

This five-step program consists of:

  1. Management commitment and worker participation: Compliance begins with management. Supervisors should be trained on the signs of factors associated with violence. They then must pass this information along to employees.
  2. Worksite analysis and hazard identification: All employees must work together to assess records, existing procedures and job operations to understand what works and what may need improvement.
  3. Hazard prevention and control: After worksite analysis, employers must take appropriate steps toward prevention and control of hazards. Periodic evaluation and updates of this information should also be made.
  4. Safety and health training: All workers must undergo training in the workplace prevention program and understand what to do in a high-risk setting.
  5. Recordkeeping and program evaluation: OSHA logs on work-related injuries and illnesses, injury reports, violent patient information and other related documents should be studied for evaluation and improvement of chosen plans.

More than 23,000 serious injuries occurred in 2013 due to assaults at work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 70 percent of these assaults took place in healthcare or social service settings.

According to The Hill, those at the greatest risk for assault include social workers in relation to gang members, those who transport patients and clients, and people with a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

These workers are almost four times more likely as other average private sector workers to be injured due to a workplace assault.

Mastery has a range of courses available for employee training in workplace violence scenarios. Search our catalog for e-learning on workplace violence. Other OSHA-related courses can be found on our website.

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