Although we strive to create a safe work environment for you, the risk of workplace violence in any health care facility remains a serious safety and health issue. Violence can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the health care sector leads all other industries with 45 percent of all nonfatal assaults against workers resulting in time off work.
Why Are We At Risk?
Almost half of violent incidents involve a patient assaulting an employee, while other incidents occur between a stranger and an employee or between former or current co-workers. Violence can happen at any time, and no one is immune. The following characteristics make health care facilities particularly hazardous:
- Medications and money available in the pharmacy
- Employee evening shifts in potentially high crime areas
- Employee exposure to sometimes violent, mentally unstable patients
- Uncooperative or combative patients
- Rooms containing furniture or items that could be used as weapons
We have taken steps to make the facility as safe as possible. Through our Workplace Violence Prevention Program, we do not tolerate threats, bullying, harassment or any other form of violence.
Identifying Your Risk
Workplace violence can include actions or words that endanger or harm you, including the following:
- Verbal or physical harassment
- Verbal or physical threats
- Assaults or other violence
- Any other behavior that causes you to feel unsafe (bullying or sexual harassment)
Nothing can guarantee that you will not become a victim of workplace violence, but you do have the right to expect a workplace that promotes safety from violence, threats and harassment. Contribute to the safety measures we have in place as follows:
- Carpool with others on your shift so you arrive and depart together.
- Implement a buddy system when treating high-risk patients so you are never alone.
- Know contact information of local authorities for quick access in the event of violence.
- Become aware of and report violent or threatening behavior or other warning signs.
- Take all threats seriously.
- Learn how to recognize, avoid or diffuse potentially violent situations by attending personal safety training programs.
- Alert supervisors to any concerns about safety or security.
- Report all incidents immediately in writing.
Overall, stay alert and aware. Make sure that you are effectively trained in how to handle a potentially dangerous situation, including conflict resolution. Adhere to all of our policies and be aware of the hazards to reduce your risk of being a victim of physical violence.
For more tips on how to make workplaces safer, contact INSURICA today.
This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.