Every year, the National Safety Council (NSC) recognizes June as National Safety Month; an observance aimed at helping us to keep each other safe in a variety of settings, including the workplace. Among the many workplace safety topics addressed by the NSC is workplace violence (WPV), which is any threat or act of physical violence, intimidation, harassment, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the workplace. Each year in the U.S., millions of workers reporting having been victims of WPV. Did you know that healthcare professionals are among those that are more likely to experience WPV than others?
Workplace assaults continue to be a major area of concern in healthcare settings, especially in hospitals. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), because risk factors vary from facility to facility, and from unit to unit within the same facility, there are no universal strategies to prevent violence. NIOSH recommends that all hospitals develop a comprehensive violence prevention program, that involves identifying risk factors and establishing a zero-tolerance policy toward WPV. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has developed Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care and Social Services Workers, for employers and staff in healthcare and social service settings. OSHA has also developed a Workplace Violence Safety and Health Topics Page with information and a variety of resources that will help your teams to evaluate your workplace and mitigate risks of WPV in your organization. While our goal is always to find ways to improve patient safety, let’s focus this month on employee safety and ensuring our workplaces are as safe as possible. Thank you for all the important work that you do, everyday!
The Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) Workplace Violence Taskforce has released a Workplace Violence Toolkit to assist hospitals and providers in their efforts to minimize and eliminate workplace violence. This toolkit identifies state resources for intervention and education and also provides tools - such as training opportunities and models of policies and procedures - that NHA members can apply in their setting. The NHA Workplace Violence Toolkit is available on the NHA website and will be updated as additional resources and information become available.