Violence in the Worplace - Hazard and Controls


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Recently there has been a surge in workplace violence. This includes both physical and mental abuse. Companies need to establish a comprehensive policy, program, and procedures to address all forms of workplace violence as well as the proper engineering and administrative controls. If you need a consultant to provide support, training, or review existing documentation, kindly contact The Windsor Consulting Group, Inc. by email at for pricing and availability.

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Violence in the Worplace - Hazard and Controls

  1. 1. OSHA Recommendations for Workplace Violence Prevention Programs Presented by: Bernard L Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP The Windsor Consulting Group, Inc. 14 Sheinfine Ave., South River, NJ 08882 Email:
  2. 2. What Is Workplace Violence? Workplace violence is any physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting
  3. 3. Workplace Violence  Violence is a leading cause of workplace fatality, resulting in 856 deaths in 1997 (BLS)  Most common type of workplace fatality is a shooting during the robbery of a retail, service or transportation worker
  4. 4. Extent of Problem  Job-related homicides in retail trades accounted for almost half of all workplace homicides in 1997  Homicides in convenience and other grocery stores, eating and drinking places, and gasoline service stations constituted the largest share of homicides in retail establishments
  5. 5. Assaults and Homicides 1600000 1400000 1200000 1000000 800000 600000 400000 200000 0 simple assaults aggravated assaults rapes, sexual assaults robberies homicides
  6. 6. Risk Factors  Contact with the public  Exchange of money  Delivery of passengers, goods, or services  Having a mobile workplace such as a taxicab or police cruiser
  7. 7. Risk Factors (Cont’d) Working alone or in small numbers Working in high crime areas Working late, at night, or during early morning hours  Guarding valuable property or possessions   
  8. 8. OSHA’s Commitment OSHA has developed recommendations to assist employers to develop workplace violence prevention programs
  9. 9. OSHA’s Commitment (cont’d) Recommendations are based on:  OSHA’s Safety and Health Management Guidelines  State regulations or recommendations from CA, FL, and WA
  10. 10. Occupational Safety and Health The OSH Act of 1970 mandates that, in addition to compliance with hazard-specific standards, all employers have a general duty to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. This includes the prevention and control of the hazard of workplace violence OSHA will rely on Section 5 (a)(1) of the OSH Act (the “General Duty Clause”) for enforcement authority
  11. 11. Recommendations  Educational tool to help employers - design, select, and implement workplace violence prevention programs - tailored to meet the specific needs and risk factors in their workplace
  12. 12. Recommendations     Not a standard Does not create any new OSHA duties Not a model program Not a “one size fits all” answer
  13. 13. Violence Prevention Program Elements  Management Commitment and Employee Involvement  Worksite Analysis  Hazard Prevention and Control  Training  Evaluation
  14. 14. Management Commitment  Create and share a policy of violence prevention  Take incidents seriously  Outline a security plan  Assign responsibility, authority and resources
  15. 15. Management Commitment    Hold employees accountable Encourage prompt reporting and tracking Encourage employees to get involved and make recommendations
  16. 16. Management Commitment  Make sure employees who report problems or experience an incident are not punished or discriminated (11c) against  Work with others to improve security - Police - Landlords - Employer Associations
  17. 17. Employee Involvement      Participate in surveys and offer suggestions Assist in security analysis and inspection Help evaluate prevention and control measures Train other employees Share on-the-job experiences with other employees
  18. 18. Worksite Hazard Analysis  Step-by-step, common sense look at the workplace to find existing and potential hazards. - Review records and past incidents - Workplace security analysis - Periodic safety audits
  19. 19. Prevention Strategies  Reduce the risk of robbery by: Increasing effort that the perpetrator must expend Increasing risks to the perpetrator Reducing rewards to the perpetrator
  20. 20. Hazard Prevention and Control    Engineering controls and workplace adaptation Administrative and work practice controls Post incident response
  21. 21. Engineering Controls     Visibility and lighting Drop safes Video surveillance Height markers  Door detectors, buzzers  Alarms  Bullet resistant barriers – The Unofficial Guide to the OSHA
  22. 22. Administrative and Work Practice Controls  Integrate violence prevention into daily procedures  Minimal cash in register  Emergency reporting procedures  System of communication  Procedures to use barriers & enclosures  Increase staffing at high risk locations/times
  23. 23. Administrative and Work Practice Controls Lock delivery doors Establish rules for workers leaving facility Lock doors when not open, procedures for opening and closing  Limit access  Adopt safety procedures for off-site work   
  24. 24. Post Incident Response       Get medical care for injured victims Report to police and other authorities Inform management Secure the premises - safeguard evidence Prepare incident report immediately Arrange appropriate psychological treatment for victims – The Unofficial Guide to the OSHA
  25. 25. Management and Personnel Training  Ensure that all staff are aware of security hazards and protective procedures  Workers Potential risks Operational procedures Use of security measures Behavioral strategies Incident response Emergency action
  26. 26. Management and Personnel Training  Supervisors, managers and security personnel - Same training as other workers - Additional training to help them recognize, analyze and establish controls
  27. 27. Evaluation  Recordkeeping Injuries Incidents Hazard analyses Recommendations from police, consultants, employees Hazard correction Training and safety meetings
  28. 28. Evaluation • • • • • Review the results of safety audits Review post incident reports Review minutes from safety meetings Analyze trends in incidents, injuries, etc. Consult with employees before & after worksite changes • Update information on violence prevention strategies
  29. 29. Sources of Assistance  OSHA Internet Site  The Unofficial Guide to the OSHA –  OSHA State Programs (California, Florida, Virginia, Washington have developed specific guidelines and recommendations)  OSHA Consultation Program  NIOSH  Trade Associations, Unions, Insurers, etc..