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OSHA issues new rules on investigating workplace violence

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in Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers,Preventing Workplace Violence

by Thomas A. Farr and W. Kyle Dillard, Esqs.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued its first-ever written en­­force­­ment instructions regarding incidents of workplace violence. OSHA officials will use the directive to decide whether allegations of workplace violence warrant an investigation. It spells out procedures that compliance officers must follow when conducting workplace inspections.

More important, it details methods employers can use to minimize the possibility of workplace violence.

Violence defined

OSHA defines “workplace violence” as “violent acts (including physical assaults and threats of assaults) di­­rected towards persons at work or on duty.”

The directive lists four categories of workplace violence:

  1. Violent acts by people (including current and former employees) who enter the workplace to commit a crime.
  2. Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, ...(register to read more)

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Tanya Beeson January 31, 2013 at 1:51 am

I had a coworker threaten to physically harm me at work and aggressively approach me before being held back by 2 other coworkers. I have audio recording of the incident and the coworkers were aware of this. She continued to yell at me and threaten me. It was reported to my supervisor as well as our administrator (I am an LPN at a nursing home). I told them I am not comfortable working with this person and I’m afraid of what she may do to our residents if they happen to upset her or make her angry. She has a history of being easily angered and says, herself, “I have a funky attitude so people don’t want to piss me off”. Nothing was done by my supervisors and they refused to listen to the parts of recording that prove verbal assault. I’m being forced to work with this person if I want to keep my job. I worry about the residents safety as well as my own. What can I do?

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