Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care in California: What Employees Need to Know

Course Description:

Can you identify the signs of workplace violence and the risks of a violent incident happening at your workplace and know how to defuse the situation? Workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings face significant threats of violence, and there are factors that contribute to this risk, including working directly with people who have a history of violence or who may be delirious or under the influence of drugs.

This presentation will train workers in healthcare facilities in California to recognize the signs of violence and the risk factors that can lead to violent acts, and deal effectively and safely with threats and incidents of workplace violence. This course is designed to meet the requirements of California’s Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care rule, but it can be adopted by any healthcare facility that adopts the California rule as their own policy.

When the training is completed, trainees will be able to identify the risks and causes of workplace violence, recognize potential perpetrators of violence, spot the signs of violence, respond effectively to threats and violent acts, and report any violent or uncomfortable situation immediately.

Course Duration: 23 minutes

Why “Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care in California: What Employees Need to Know” Matters:

  • According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in the healthcare and social assistance sector, 13 percent of injuries and illness were the result of violence and the incidents of violence in healthcare is roughly four times the rate of all other cases in the private sector in the United States.
  • OSHA has officially designated workplace violence as a known and recognizable hazard for the skilled, residential and long-term care healthcare industry.
  • Fines assessed as a result of OSHA findings that employers did not provide adequate levels of protection for staff have totaled as much as $100,000, while state fines can be as much a $5,000 for each incident.
  • OSHA’s General Duty Clause, Joint Commission Standards, and state law have emphasized that the onus is on healthcare leaders to provide for a safe environment for workers.

Key Points:

  • Verbal threats, distraught or agitated family members, and bullying are signs of potential violence.
  • Respond to threats or incidents of violence by defusing the situation with calmness, empathy, and a nonthreatening tone.
  • The buddy system—or coworkers looking out for each other—is a good work practice to protect you from potential violence.
  • If an active shooter situation develops, run to the nearest exit, or if you’re in a patient’s or treatment room, secure the door and stay there.
  • Notify your supervisor or the designated representative immediately of any threats that you witnessed or received or any situation in which you feel uncomfortable. You have the right to report such concerns without fear of retaliation from your employer.