Q. We’re re-examining our-prevention strategies. What guidance is available to employers?
A. For more than 15 years, workplace violence has been one of the top four causes of death at work. In response, OSHA in September 2011 issued a directive called “Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Workplace Violence Incidents.” It establishes general enforcement policies and procedures for inspectors to follow when conducting investigations and issuing citations or notices for workplace violence hazards.
The directive identifies high-risk industries that are susceptible to workplace violence, lists risk factors that indicate the potential for workplace violence and provides advice to employers on how to implement a workplace violence-prevention program.
Read the directive online at http://tinyurl.com/OSHA-directive.
The OSHA directive provides a framework that might help you prevent workplace violence. It offers these general recommendations on how employers can reduce or eliminate workplace violence:
- Conduct a workplace violence hazard analysis.
- Assess plans for new construction or physical changes to the facility or workplace to eliminate or reduce security hazards.
- Implement engineering or administrative controls to reduce exposure to hazards (such as maintaining security devices, using recording in high-risk areas, installing bright lighting, and implementing reporting requirements).
- Provide support during emergencies and respond promptly to all complaints.
- Provide employee training on workplace violence.
- Develop a written, comprehensive workplace violence-prevention program, including a policy statement.