What Is Workplace Violence Prevention Programs
A workplace violence prevention program is a set of policies, procedures, and practices designed to reduce and mitigate the risk of violence occurring in the workplace. Such programs are essential to creating a safe and secure work environment for employees.
Workplace violence prevention program posses some key components, they include:
Components Of A Workplace Violence Prevention Program:
Before you can create a viable workplace violence prevention program, you need to have the following in place:
1. Workplace Violence Prevention Policy: Develop a clear and comprehensive workplace violence prevention policy that outlines the organization’s commitment to safety and zero tolerance for workplace violence. Ensure that all employees are aware of the policy.
2. Risk Assessment Report: Conduct a thorough assessment of potential risks and hazards in the workplace. This includes evaluating the physical environment, employee interactions, and any external factors that may contribute to violence.
3. Workers Awareness Training: Provide training and education to employees, managers, and supervisors on recognizing and preventing workplace violence. This should cover topics such as conflict resolution, de-escalation techniques, and reporting procedures.
4. Clear Line of Communication: Establish clear and confidential line of communication for employees to report incidents or concerns related to workplace violence. Encourage employees to report any suspicious behavior or threats.
5. Carry Out Threat Assessment: Develop a process for assessing and responding to threats or concerning behaviors exhibited by employees or visitors. This should involve HR, security, and, if necessary, law enforcement.
6. Set Up Access Control and Security Measures: Implementing access control, security protocols, and surveillance systems is important to enhance workplace security. This may include visitor management, key card access, and security personnel.
7. Develop Emergency Response Plan: Develop a comprehensive emergency response plan that outlines procedures to follow in the event of a violent incident. This should include evacuation plans, communication protocols, and first aid.
8. Carry Out Continuous Evaluation: Regularly review and update the workplace violence prevention program to adapt to changing circumstances, emerging risks, or new insights gained from incident analysis.
9. Carry Out Post-Incident Support: Provide support to employees who have been affected by workplace violence incidents, including counseling and resources for coping with trauma.
It is important to customize your workplace violence prevention program to suit the specific needs and risks of your organization. Regular training and awareness campaigns are essential for ensuring that all employees are knowledgeable about the program and their role in maintaining a safe workplace.
Employees Responsibility on Workplace Violence
- Employees are responsible for their own behavior by interacting responsibility with fellow employees, supervisors, and clients.
- Employees must be familiar with Department policy regarding workplace violence.
- Employees must promptly report actual and/or potential acts of violence to appropriate authorities.
- Employees must cooperate fully in investigations/assessments of allegations of workplace violence.
- Employees must be familiar with the service provided by the Employee Assistance Program.
- Employees should inform appropriate personnel about restraining or protective court orders related to domestic situations so that assistance can be offered at the work site.
OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Program
The following references provide guidance for evaluating and controlling violence in the workplace.
- Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare. OSHA. The strategies and tools presented in this section are intended to complement OSHA’s Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers. The Guidelines describe the five components of an effective workplace violence prevention program, with extensive examples.
- Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers (EPUB | MOBI). OSHA Publication 3148, (2016).
- Taxi Drivers – How to Prevent Robbery and Violence. OSHA Publication 3976 (DHHS/NIOSH Publication No. 2020-100), (November 2019).
- Recommendations for Workplace Violence Prevention Programs in Late-Night Retail Establishments. OSHA Publication 3153, (2009).
- Workplace Violence. OSHA Fact Sheet, (2002). Also available in Spanish. Provides basic information about vulnerable occupations, employer/employee roles in prevention and protection, and recommendations for response to violent incidents.
- Hospitals. OSHA eTool. Focuses on some of the hazards and controls found in the hospital setting and describes standard requirements as well as recommended safe work practices for employee safety and health.
- Young Worker Safety in Restaurants. OSHA eTool. Provides young employees and their employers safety solutions for workplace violence in specific areas of a restaurant.
Other Federal Agency Guidance
- Home Healthcare Workers: How to Prevent Violence on the Job. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-118, (February 2012).
- Workplace Violence Prevention Strategies and Research Needs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2006-144, (September 2006).
- Violence on the Job. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-100d, (2004). Provides streaming video resources that discusses practical measures for identifying risk factors for violence at work, and taking strategic action to keep employees safe. Based on extensive NIOSH research, supplemented with information from other authoritative sources. Transcript also available.
- Stress… at Work. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-101, (1999). Highlights knowledge about the causes of stress at work and outlines steps that can be taken to prevent job stress.
- Preventing Homicide in the Workplace. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 93-109, (May 1995). Helps employers and employees to identify high-risk occupations and workplaces, informs employers and employees about their risks, encourages employers and employees to evaluate risk factors in their workplaces and implement protective measures, and encourages researchers to gather more detailed information about occupational homicide and to develop and evaluate protective measures.
- Occupational Violence. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic. Provides basic information on workplace violence including risk factors and prevention strategies.
- Dealing with Workplace Violence: A Guide for Agency Planners (PDF). U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Assists those who are responsible for establishing workplace violence initiatives at their agencies. This handbook is the result of a cooperative effort of many federal agencies sharing their expertise in preventing and dealing with workplace violence.
How To Develop Workplace Violence Prevention Plan
According to OSHA, an effective workplace violence prevention program could include:
- A specific plan, tailored to the industry, for workplace security.
- A worksite analysis of risk factors, past incidents, security, and safety audits.
- Solutions to known environmental hazards, including, adequate lighting, video surveillance, drop safes and barriers to protect employees.
- Training for employees, security personnel, and supervisors.
- Record keeping of all incidents, policy recommendations, notes from safety meetings, and evaluations of the effectiveness of current safety plans.