OSHA recently delivered a pretty strong message to the healthcare industry by intensifying its enforcement efforts to target causes of workplace injuries/violence. In late June, OSHA basically took what were once recommendations and turned them into regulations as it relates to a variety of areas, including workplace violence.
Specifically, compliance officers will be focusing on these major hazard areas (in no particular order):
1. Workplace violence
2. Slips, trips, and falls
3. Musculoskeletal disorders (related to patient handling)
4. Bloodborne pathogens
It stands to reason that my antennae went up when I read about the crackdown on workplace violence prevention given Guardian 8’s focus on OSHA’s early-April update of its “Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers” publication. This definitive follow-up enforcement action makes a strong statement from the Federal level and should serve as a major red flag, loud buzzer, or whatever else gets your attention. It’s time to take action to prepare a realistic response to the ever-present threat of workplace violence. While no one wants violence to visit their facility/campus, its prevalence is on the rise and your preparations are being evaluated.
While many healthcare facilities in the United States have incorporated security response tools like the Pro V2 into their overall security plan, too many have adopted the “not in my town” approach. Not only is this an overly-optimistic way of thinking (especially these days), but it can cost you significant dollars now that OSHA compliance officers are planning to assess your readiness in this area.
In fact, one recent OSHA fine delivered to a facility in Alabama for failing to protect its employees from workplace violence could outfit your facility with nearly 15 Pro V2 kits!
So ask yourself if it’s worth overlooking your preparedness plan now that there’s a regulation on the books to hold you accountable. Wouldn’t it make sense to invest in your facility’s (and your workers’/patients’) safety instead of “re-allocating” your budget on fines?
And if you’re on the leading edge of preparing for and preventing workplace violence, we’d love to hear from you!