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Workplace Violence in Hospital Settings

Physical violence against healthcare workers occurs at an alarming rate of four times the rate of occurrences in the general workforce. It is a widespread problem and affects healthcare workers in nearly all work environments, hospital settings in particular. Assaults from patients, families, and visitors can occur in the form of intimidation, harassment, stalking, beatings, and in severe cases, stabbing, gunshots, and rape. Prevention in any workplace begins with a complete and comprehensive Violence Prevention Program.

Components of a Violence Prevention Program

A Written Violence Prevention Plan

  • Incorporates all components in written format and states clear goals and objectives
  • Creates and disseminates a clear policy that violence, in any form, will not be tolerated
  • Ensures that no reprisals are taken against employees who report or experience workplace violence
  • Encourages prompt reporting and recordkeeping of all incidents of violence
  • Establishes a plan for maintaining security in the workplace and includes law enforcement

Management and Employee Commitment

  • Establishes the basis for management and employees to work together to reduce workplace violence
  • Communicates the policy that violence, threats, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior in the workplace will not be tolerated
  • Outlines management’s plan for providing the motivation and resources required to deal effectively with workplace violence, allocating authority, and enforcing accountability
  • Ensures that employees understand, support, and participate in the prevention program

Worksite Analysis & Hazard Prevention

  • Identifies potential workplace hazards, such as availability of drugs, low staffing levels, mentally unstable or confused patients, or a high-crime location
  • Provides controls for potential hazards, such as better lighting, metal detectors, plexi-glass instead of glass, surveillance cameras, or controlled access systems

Safety and Health Training

  • Educates employees on violence prevention strategies and policies and should be conducted by individuals with experience and specialty in the field
  • Builds interaction with prevention program facilitators and promotes early intervention
  • Includes training on the facility’s prevention program and key program members, methods for recognizing and diffusing volatile situations, and established facility security procedures

Post-Incident Response

  • Provides a program of support for workers who are involved in or witness violent incidents
  • Initiates a trained response team that provides prompt medical and psychological assistance and includes follow-up care such as counseling and support services

Evaluation and Recordkeeping

  • Facilitates evaluation of problem severity, assessment of hazard controls, and identification of training needs
  • Includes documentation of employee training and information related to incidents of violence such as abuse, medical injury, and patient-related actions

For more information on incident management, refer to:

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U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.





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