When most people think about going into work every day, they probably assume a few things.
One of those: That they won’t be physically assaulted while doing their job. That they will go home at the end of the day without being injured or killed. For many workers, however—especially those in health care and social services—that is not their daily reality.
In 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more than 23,000 workers suffered significant injuries from being assaulted at work.
More than 70% of those assaults were in the health care and social service settings. Those workers are almost four times more likely to be injured as a result of violence in the workplace than the average private-sector employee.
Since 2012, OSHA has conducted 148 inspections in response tocomplaints. Of those, 101 were in health care or social service facilities.
In response, OSHA has released updated guidelines on workplace violence in health care and social services settings.
Download Guidelines for . for Health Care and Social Services Workers
The booklet incorporates new research, conducted within the last decade, into the root causes of workplace assaults in these settings and how to manage the unique challenges of working with patients or clients who may display violent behavior.
Common risk factors
Regardless of industry, the OSHA guidelines say employees are most at risk for workplace violence if they:
- Have contact with the public
- Exchange money with the public
- Work alone
- Work late at night or during the early morning
- Deliver passengers or goods
- Perform jobs that might put them in conflict with others
- Perform duties that could upset people.
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