The numbers are sobering. According to a recent OSHA announcement, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2013 there were “more than 23,000 significant injuries due to assault at work. More than 70 percent of these assaults were in healthcare and social service settings.” Healthcare and social service workers are four times more likely receive an injury caused by violence and are five times more likely to be the victim of a non-fatal assault or violent act than an average worker in the private sector.
OSHA is saying enough is enough. David Michaels, M.D., assistant secretary of labor for OSHA stated, “It is unacceptable that the people who dedicate their lives to caring for our loved ones often work in fear of injury or death.” 
To help combat the violence, OSHA has updated its Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers. The 53-page guide contains an explanation of why the workers in the healthcare sector are more likely to experience violence than the average worker. Reasons include working in high crime areas, working alone and working with people who have a history of violence. Other risk factors include lack of training, understaffing and unrestricted movement of the public in clinics and hospitals.
The booklet recommends that healthcare organizations implement violence prevention programs. It then takes the facilities through each of the components needed to develop a successful program:
(1) Management commitment and employee participation,
(2) Worksite analysis,
(3) Hazard prevention and control,
(4) Safety and health training, and
(5) Recordkeeping and program evaluation.
In addition, OSHA provides practical tools to help facilities set up their programs. For instance, the guide contains a checklist for determining if a facility is at high risk for violence as well as a program assessment checklist designed to be used on an ongoing basis.
Federal agencies, state governments and facilities are recognizing the immediate need to protect healthcare workers from violence and are taking the necessary steps to do so. At IntelliCentrics, we have the answer for healthcare facilities—! With , you can engage with your entire hospital community, making it easy to communicate safety updates and protocols. Further, you can ensure that everyone in the facility has received the proper safety training and background checks based on their role. a safe healthcare experience.

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