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Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare

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bigstock-Needle-Stick-Injury-6020085Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from www.osha.gov

Those who work in healthcare are an important resource and very appreciated individuals. However, they are also at higher risk for workplace violence, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health defines workplace violence as ‘violent acts, including physical assaults and threats of assault, directed toward persons at work or on duty.’ Even if no physical injury takes place, threats, abuse, hostility, harassment, and other forms of verbal violence can cause significant psychological trauma and stress—and potentially escalate to physical violence,” according to Worker Safety in Hospitals: Caring for our Caregivers, the website linked to in the article below from OSHA.

OSHA has long been concerned about healthcare workers, as these blog posts from 2013 attest:

Unfortunately, whether slips or trips, lifting incidents, or workplace violence, healthcare continues to be a challenging environment for workers. If there is a safety concern or you or a loved one are injured on the job, please be sure to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer with questions about your specific situation. Have a safe and productive day.

Workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings face significant risks of workplace violence. Many factors contribute to this risk, including working directly with people who have a history of violence or who may be delirious or under the influence of drugs. From 2002 to 2013, the rate of serious workplace violence incidents (those requiring days off for an injured worker to recuperate) was more than four times greater in healthcare than in private industry on average. In fact, healthcare accounts for nearly as many serious violent injuries as all other industries combined. Many more assaults or threats go unreported, workplace violence comes at a high cost, however, it can be prevented. OSHA has compiled a suite of resources to help you build and implement a comprehensive workplace violence program in your healthcare facility.

The strategies and tools presented here are intended to complement OSHA’s Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers*, updated in 2015. The Guidelines describe the five components of an effective workplace violence prevention program, with extensive examples.

The products below: Workplace Violence in Healthcare: Understanding the Challenge*, presents some estimates of the extent of the problem from various sources; Preventing Workplace Violence: A Road Map for Healthcare Facilities* expands on OSHA’s guidelines by presenting case studies and successful strategies from a variety of…

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