Spreading awareness and employing measures for the prevention of workplace violence could not be more important as businesses are making their way back into the office after the covid-19 pandemic. OSHA defines workplace violence as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite. This can range from verbal abuse and threats to physical assault and homicide. Workplace violence is the third leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the US, and it has taken over 2 million reported victims. Anyone from employees to clients, customers and visitors can be a victim of workplace violence. However, workers in certain occupations are at higher risk than others. This includes those that work in places that involve in money exchange, unstable people, providing care, and anywhere where alcohol is served. Working in isolated areas or late at night can also increase risk.

There are currently no specific OSHA standards for workplace violence to date, however, employers are required to provide their employees with a safe workplace that is free from recognized hazards with the potential to cause serious physical harm. This includes the potential for workplace violence. OSHA does have guidance for proper workplace inspection procedures and will issue citations to employers who don’t take reasonable steps to prevent ta recognized violence hazard in their workplace. OSHA strongly recommends employers invoke a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence that covers anyone who may work in or visit their workplace. Employers can also create a violence prevention program and should provide necessary protections. Some of these protections may be safety education, the installment of alarms and video surveillance, minimizing outsider access with ID badges and keys, providing drop safes to limit the amount of cash on-hand and in registers, equipping field staff with phones and handheld alarms, and implementing a protective buddy system.

If a workplace violence incident occurs, please report it so that the necessary measures are taken to protect those involved. 

To learn more about the measures you can take to prevent workplace violence, Visit: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/directives/CPL_02-01-058.pdf

DII is your partner in workplace safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand how to protect your employees and those in and out of your office against workplace violence. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #workplaceviolence

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