OSHA recently issued a directive on Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Incidents of Workplace Violence.
According to OSHA, the directive establishes uniform procedures for field staff responding to incidents and complaints of workplace violence and conducting inspections in industries considered vulnerable to workplace violence, such as healthcare and social service settings, and late-night retail establishments. (WCxKit)
As statistics have indicated, workplace violence is a serious recognized occupational hazard, ranking among the top four causes of death in workplaces during the past 15 years.
More than 3,000 people died from workplace homicide between 2006 and 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.) Additional BLS data indicate an average of more than 15,000 nonfatal workplace injury cases were reported annually during this time.
Studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and other organizations show that employers who implement effective safety measures can reduce the incidence of workplace violence. These measures include training employees on workplace violence, encouraging employees to report assaults or threats, and conducting workplace violence hazard analysis.(WCxKit)
Other methods such as using entrance door detectors or buzzer systems in retail establishments, and providing adequately trained staff, alarms, and employee “safe rooms” for use during emergencies in healthcare settings can help minimize risk.
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