Violence in the Workplace
Do you, as an employer, know the potential social risks you home healthcare workers face on the job?
Violence can have a profound negative effect on Employers and Employees. While on the job Employees could potential face violent risks in the form of verbal/physical assault and potential death. Violent incidents can also have a negative effect on Employers and can lead to employee turnover, OSHA fines and a damaged brand reputation.
The purpose of this blog is to provide 3 best practice tips to help protect workers.
According to OSHA, home healthcare workers account for 20% of all workplace injuries and 50% of all assaults in the healthcare industry. Therefore, ensuring your lone workers are fully trained is very important as it enables your employees to be fully prepared to handle issues that arise while working. With 50% of all healthcare injuries occurring for physical assault we recommend our workplace safety guide instructing workers how to de-escalate a threatening situation. Calming a threating situation can be the most effective way to avoid a potential assault while working alone.
Employees should be trained in how to deal with a possibly threatening situation, but also be aware of their surrounding and take extra care during times when the potential for risk is higher, at night or early in the morning for example. Proper training is invaluable in dangerous situations, and along with stringent dynamic risk assessments, can help keep employee’s safe.
Employee Check In/ Check Out
Employees working in the field are not always carrying out their duties in safe environments, for example some areas have high crime rates which increases social risks. Often employers have little or no idea where a lone worker could be on a given time or day. To help mitigate those risks when lone workers are make home visits an employer should implement a strategy of location check-in and check-outs. This approach ensures that an employer knows where their employees are during their working day, and should an incident occur they will be better prepared to deal with it appropriately.
The best way to handle unforeseen issues is to have a plan ready to handle any situation. Developing an emergency action plan is a must for employers to have employees working alone. An emergency action plan will give you the template, and standardize the process of handing emergency situations within your organization.
Another way to support your workforce and help mitigate the risks of working alone is to provide your lone workers with a technological solution. The SoloProtect ID has the ability to perform a location check in/out and record a contextual information about your environment. The SoloProtect ID is a discreet lone worker device, designed as an ID badge. It contains mobile phone (GSM) technology that enables the device to link to a 24/7/365 Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC), in the event of an emergency.
Check out our solutions page for more information.
News Release Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Workers (2014) OSHA Stats. Retrieved August 25,2017, from https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3148.pdf