September 02, 2010 | | Comments 0
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Implementing workplace violence policies

Howdy, safety profs!

I’ve received a number of inquiries lately looking for workplace violence policies. I figured if a few might have questions, then that’s enough indication to me that there may be some other folks as well looking for these elusive policies.

With all that said, to be honest, I don’t know that I would advise pursuing policy development. It’s more than likely that any policies you would need to support the management of risks associated with workplace violence are already in existence. The key to compliance is to follow the risk assessment recommendations in the SEA and, for all intents and purposes, conduct a gap analysis based on the elements identified in the SEA.

I would also recommend reviewing the materials on the OSHA website as well as the FBI Guidelines for the Prevention of Workplace Violence.

The fact of the matter is each organization is going to have to come up with strategies based on specific risk levels, with the possible exception of hospitals that are in the same “neighborhood”. The important thing to remember (and this goes with the management of pretty much any risk) is that you know what works best in your “house”, and sometimes the job of educating regulatory surveyors falls on the people in the field who have operational responsibility for security and security response. Certainly there are high profile news stories that warrant some level of consideration as you assess risk. For example, there have been way too many active shooter incidents in recent times to feel dismissive of that as a risk.

Another important consideration is to enlist local police, fire, and emergency management when starting to drill down on this. You already work with them with emergency response and preparedness, and when you come right down to it, is workplace violence not a hazard vulnerability? And we know what to do with those, don’t we?

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Filed Under: Emergency managementOSHA


Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at

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