OSHA Starts New Enforcement Initiative for Workplace Violence Issues

On September 8, OSHA issued a new directive about enforcement activity on workplace violence issues.  This directive (CPL 02-01-052) takes effective on Sept. 8, 2011 and is called Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Workplace Violence Incidents.  It details new procedures for the OSHA inspectors, but it is also a valuable document to show employers what they can expect.

The directive follows the shocking news that in 2010, 18% of workplace fatalities were caused by assaults and violent acts, while only 14% were caused by falls, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Workplace violence incidents are even higher in the hospital and healthcare industries.

The new inspection directive shows how OSHA inspectors are going to look at employers to see whether they have performed a workplace violence analysis.  These assessments follow the security risk assessment model and should take into account the threat level at the organization, the history of incidents and examination of trends, and whether ‘accepted’ controls have been implemented at the place of employment.

Some of the ‘accepted controls’ they will be examining include:

  • Having a recent workplace violence analysis
  • Having a formal workplace violence training program in place
  • Showing the employer had incident reports to identity possible threat levels
  • Methods the employer used to inform employees of the risk of workplace violence
  • Evidence the employer has a workplace violence prevention plan in place
  • Evidence the employer has a current security plan
  • There are also a set of recommended physical controls that include proper lighting, cameras, curved mirrors, etc.

For more information, or a copy of the document, email info@riskwatch.com

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