Tips for Developing a Workplace Violence Prevention Program

Posted by Practice Management Institute on Aug 13, 2021 7:45:00 AM
Practice Management Institute

Nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year, and the number has only grown since the start of the pandemic. While workplace violence can strike anywhere and at any time, the risk of assault can be prevented or minimized if employers take appropriate precautions.

Workplace Violence & Safety Planning for Medical Offices: Free Info Session August 27

Become Aware and Commit to Prepare

Workplace Violence is on the rise. Sadly, it’s typically the lead story on every newscast. During a crisis, two barriers to action are being unaware and unprepared! Acting in the moment is a bad idea. When seconds count, an emergency action plan and rapid response skills empower you and your team to act fast.

No one wants to ever find themselves in this type of situation, but if it happens, you'll want to know how your team can best handle the situation to protect each other as well as your patients. And it all starts with having a dedicated workplace violence prevention program in place.

OSHA states that a well-written and implemented workplace violence prevention program, combined with engineering controls, administrative controls, and training, can reduce the incidence of workplace violence. At a minimum, workplace violence prevention programs should:

  • Create and disseminate a clear policy of zero tolerance for workplace violence, verbal and nonverbal threats, and related actions. Ensure that managers, supervisors, coworkers, clients, patients, and visitors know about this policy.
  • Ensure that no employee who reports or experiences workplace violence faces reprisals.
  • Encourage employees to promptly report incidents and suggest ways to reduce or eliminate risks. Require records of incidents to assess risk and measure progress.
  • Outline a comprehensive plan for maintaining security in the workplace. This includes establishing a liaison with law enforcement representatives and others who can help identify ways to prevent and mitigate workplace violence.
  • Assign responsibility and authority for the program to individuals or teams with appropriate training and skills. Ensure that adequate resources are available for this effort and that the team or responsible individuals develop expertise on workplace violence prevention in health care and social services.
  • Affirm management commitment to a worker-supportive environment that places as much importance on employee safety and health as on serving the patient or client.
  • Set up a company briefing as part of the initial effort to address issues such as preserving safety, supporting affected employees, and facilitating recovery.

PMI is working with emergency response experts to develop specialized training to help medical practice professionals become more comfortable and confident defending themselves, patients, coworkers, and loved ones.

Learn More About Workplace Violence Safety Planning

Join us for a webinar on August 27th at 12 PM CDT for a discussion on developing an emergency action plan and learning rapid response skills in the event of a threatening situation. PMI and Tactical Emergency Response Training Expert Guillermo "Willie" Cantu Jr. will be sharing preparation tips and insights to help create a safer work environment. 

Register Now

Topics: medical office compliance, medical practice issues, workplace violence