Hospitals can now access an online collection of resources, compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), aimed at reducing violence and increasing safety in the workplace.
U.S. health care facilities provide the setting for nearly as many serious violent injuries – those that require days off for recuperation – as all other industries combined. In fact, OSHA says, the average number of incidents of serious workplace violence were four times more common in health care than in other sectors from 2002 to 2013.
OHSA encourages facilities to develop and conduct a comprehensive workplace violence program using the agency’s online resources, including these:
- an explanation of why it’s important to address workplace violence
- case studies of hospitals that have implemented a plan
- strategies for creating a “culture of safety”
Health care employees are at greater risk of violent injury due to patients under the influence of drugs or with a history of violence, lack of emergency communications, inadequate security staff, and overcrowded waiting areas. OSHA notes that violence can be verbal, as well as physical – harassment, hostility, and threats, for example.
OSHA says the tools on the new webpage are meant to be used with its guidelines for preventing workplace violence, updated earlier this year.