Blog excerpt: OSHA updates healthcare workplace violence prevention guidelines

Accreditation Insider, April 28, 2015

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In 2013 there were more than 23,000 significant injuries in the workplace due to assaults, according to a recent report by OSHA. More than 70% of these assaults were in healthcare and social service settings. Further, OSHA says that healthcare and social service workers are almost four times as likely to be injured as a result of violence than private sector employees.

The above statistics prompted OSHA to release an update to its Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Workers, also known as OSHA Rule 3148. The update recommends that all healthcare facilities develop an effective workplace violence prevention program. According to our sources, The Joint Commission is following these changes very closely.

The updated guidelines are specific in the types of workplace controls employers should consider, especially in terms of facility security and keeping track of both on-site and off-site employees. Some examples:
•    The use of silent alarms and panic buttons in hospitals and medical clinics
•    Providing safe rooms and arranging furniture to make sure there are clear exit routes for employees and patients
•    Installing permanent or hand-held metal detectors to detect weapons, and providing staff training on the use of these devices
•    Ensuring nurse stations have a clear view of all treatment areas, including the use of curved mirrors and installing glass panels in doors for better viewing, as well as closed circuit cameras to help monitor areas
•    Using GPS, cell phones, and other location technology to help keep track of staff working with patients in off-site locations
•    Protecting front-end triage staff using facility design elements such as deep counters, secure bathrooms for staff separate from patient treatment areas, and using bulletproof glass and lockable doors with keyless entry systems.

Read the full post at HCPro's Accreditation & Quality Advisor blog.


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