OSHA Offers Mitigation Tips to Protect Against Workplace Violence

April 17, 2017

According to OSHA, employers should establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence. In addition, the agency suggests the following:

  • Provide safety education for employees so they know what conduct is not acceptable, what to do if they witness or are subjected to workplace violence, and how to protect themselves.
  • Secure the workplace. Where appropriate, install video surveillance, extra lighting and alarm systems, and minimize access by outsiders through identification badges, electronic keys and guards.
  • Provide drop safes to limit the amount of cash on hand. Keep a minimal amount of cash in registers during evenings and late-night hours.
  • Equip field staff with cellular phones and hand-held alarms or noise devices, and require them to prepare a daily work plan and keep a contact person informed of their location throughout the day. Keep employer-provided vehicles properly maintained.
  • Instruct employees not to enter any location where they feel unsafe. Introduce a “buddy system” or provide an escort service or police assistance in potentially dangerous situations or at night.
  • Develop policies and procedures covering visits by home healthcare providers. Address the conduct of home visits, the presence of others in the home during visits and the worker’s right to refuse to provide services in a clearly hazardous situation.