Minimizing the Risk of Workplace Violence

Emergency Preparedness; Care Providers; Programs and Resources

Workplace violence is recognized as a hazard in the health care industry and​ can affect workers, residents, and visitors. Workplace violence includes any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behaviors that occur at the workplace. Taking the following steps can help you minimize the risk for violence in the workplace. These steps are considered best practice and are NOT required. 

  • Identify risks and develop a facility violence prevention plan. The plan should outline goals and objectives for preventing workplace violence and be individualized for each facility. The plan should be reviewed and updated after an adverse event and annually.  
  • Develop a workplace violence response policy that includes a zero tolerance for violence. 
  • Develop staff training to include how to protect themselves, the residents, and their coworkers. Training should cover the facility policy and de-escalation techniques.  
  • Supervisors and managers should be trained to recognize high-risk situations, so they can ensure workers are not placed in assignments that compromise their safety. Training should include: 
    • ​Encouraging workers to report incidents and to 
    • Encouraging workers to seek the appropriate care after experiencing a violent incident​

To learn more about guidelines for preventing workplace violence, please refer to OSHA’s guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers.