Occupational Safety and Health Association
U.S. Department of Labor

Summary from "Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care and Social Workers"
OSHA 3148-01R 2004


Elements of an effective violence prevention program

The five main components of any effective safety and health program also apply to the prevention of workplace violence.

  1. Management commitment and employee involvement
  2. Worksite analysis
  3. Hazard prevention and control
  4. Safety and health training
  5. Recordkeeping and program evaluation


OSHA recommendations for minimal requirements of a workplace violence prevention program:

  1. 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
  2. Ensure that no employee who reports or experiences workplace violence faces reprisals
  3. Encourage employees to promptly report incidents and suggest ways to reduce or eliminate risks. Require records of incidents to assess and measure progress
  4. Outline a comprehensive plan for maintaining security in the workplace. This includes establishing liaison with law enforcement representative and others who can help identify ways to prevent and mitigate workplace violence
  5. 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 settings.
  6. Affirm management commitment to a worker-supportive environment that places as much importance on employee safety and health as on serving the client.
  7. Set up a company breifing as part of the initial effot to address issues such as preserving safety, supporting affected employees and facilitating recovery

For additional OSHA recommendations and guidelines related to these specific areas click on the links below:

Management commitment and employee involvement

Conducting a workplace security analysis

Minimizing environmental risks

Administrative and work practice controls to minimize risk

Training topics for employees

Elements of a program evaluation


To view the complete informational booklet online go to www.osha.gov
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