Health and safety is paramount for every employee. However, one industry where workers are at risk on a regular basis is healthcare, as doctors, nurses and other professionals face dangerous diseases, long hours and patients day in and day out.
These are some reasons why the health and safety of healthcare workers remains a top priority across the country, especially when it comes to preventing violence. According to Business Insurance, healthcare workers are increasingly the targets of violence on the job, alongside their already high incident rate for occupational injuries and illnesses.
"The nature of the healthcare profession increases the odds of workplace violence"
Carolyn Reinach Wolf, executive partner at the New York-based law firm Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf L.L.P., told the news source that violence against healthcare workers is "happening with increasing frequency, so healthcare facilities need to start looking at this more than they used to and ... start being more proactive and preventive."
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also recently fined employers for failure to adequately protect the safety of its healthcare workers.
Healthcare workers will always be in some level of danger due to the nature of the profession. However, employers have several ways to improve a risk management plan - including an emphasis on training.
According to OSHA, each employee must be educated on workplace violence. Every person in the company needs to be involved, from the top down. This way, each staff member will understand the hazards and know how to react in a number of common scenarios.
On-the-job training should discuss key topics, including:
Unfortunately, healthcare workers will frequently have to deal with violent patients. With the right training in place, these interactions don't have to result in injuries. Another viable method to prevent violence is with skilled managers and supervisors. OSHA recommended that these employees be able to identify dangerous situations and prevent other workers from being in harm's way. Changes to the company can also help, from altering schedules to hiring more security.
With these steps completed, a healthcare organization can focus on helping patients, not on workplace violence.