The Impact of Workplace Violence on Healthcare and Social Service Workers

Angie Szumlinski
|
August 28, 2015

With the recent on air slayings of a well-loved television reporter and photographer, the recent release of the OSHA Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence publication release is timely.  This publication is a guideline/recommendation and not a requirement or law.  That said, our communities are home for frail, elderly, dependent seniors and our responsibility is to provide a safe environment.  Per the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA 3148-04R 2015

Violence in the Workplace: The Impact of Workplace Violence on Healthcare and Social Service Workers Healthcare and social service workers face a significant risk of job-related violence. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as “violent acts (including physical assaults and threats of assaults) directed toward persons at work or on duty.”1 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 27 out of the 100 fatalities in healthcare and social service settings that occurred in 2013 were due to assaults and violent acts. While media attention tends to focus on reports of workplace homicides, the vast majority of workplace violence incidents result in non-fatal, yet serious injuries. Statistics based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)2 data both reveal that workplace violence is a threat to those in the healthcare and social service settings. BLS data show that the majority of injuries from assaults at work that required days away from work occurred in the healthcare and social services settings. Between 2011 and 2013, workplace assaults ranged from 23,540 and 25,630 annually, with 70 to 74% occurring in healthcare and social service settings. For healthcare workers, assaults comprise 10-11% of workplace injuries involving days away from work, as compared to 3% of injuries of all private sector employees.

To read the full recommendation for preventing workplace violence please go to:

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3148.pdf

 

 

1 CDC/NIOSH. Violence. Occupational Hazards in Hospitals. 2002. 2 Cited in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics report, Workplace Violence, 1993-2009 National Crime Victimization Survey and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. March 2011. (www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/wv09.pdf)


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