Skip Navigation

Course 776 - Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Worksite Analysis

Value of Worksite Analysis


A worksite analysis involves a step-by-step look at the workplace to find existing or potential hazards for workplace violence. This entails reviewing specific procedures or operations that contribute to hazards and specific areas where hazards may develop.

A threat assessment team, patient assault team, similar task force or coordinator may assess the vulnerability to workplace violence and determine the appropriate preventive actions to be taken. This group may also be responsible for implementing the workplace violence prevention program.

The team should include representatives from:

  • senior management
  • operations
  • employee assistance
  • security
  • occupational safety and health
  • legal and human resources staff

The team or coordinator can review injury and illness records and workers' compensation claims to identify patterns of assaults that could be prevented by workplace adaptation, procedural changes or employee training. As the team or coordinator identifies appropriate controls, they should be instituted.

Focus of a Worksite Analysis

The recommended program for worksite analysis includes, but is not limited to:

  • analyzing and tracking records
  • screening surveys
  • analyzing workplace security

Records Analysis and Tracking

This activity should include reviewing medical, safety, workers' compensation and insurance records—including the OSHA Log of Work-Related Injury and Illness (OSHA Form 300), if the employer is required to maintain one—to pinpoint instances of workplace violence. Scan unit logs and employee and police reports of incidents or near-incidents of assaultive behavior to identify and analyze trends in assaults relative to particular:

  • departments
  • units
  • job titles
  • unit activities
  • workstations
  • time of day

Employers should tabulate these data to target the frequency and severity of incidents to establish a baseline for measuring improvement. They need to monitor trends and analyze incidents. Contacting similar local businesses, trade associations and community and civic groups is one way to learn about their experiences with workplace violence and to help identify trends. Use several years of data, if possible, to trace trends of injuries and incidents of actual or potential workplace violence.

Value of Screening Surveys


One important screening tool is an employee questionnaire or survey to get employees' ideas on the potential for violent incidents and to identify or confirm the need for improved security measures. Detailed baseline screening surveys can help pinpoint tasks that put employees at risk.

Periodic surveys—conducted at least annually or whenever operations change or incidents of workplace violence occur—help identify new or previously unnoticed risk factors and deficiencies or failures in work practices, procedures or controls. Also, the surveys help assess the effects of changes in the work processes. The periodic review process should also include feedback and follow-up.

Independent reviewers, such as safety and health professionals, law enforcement or security specialists and insurance safety auditors, may offer advice to strengthen programs. These experts can also provide fresh perspectives to improve a violence prevention program.

Conducting a Workplace Security Analysis

The team or coordinator should periodically inspect the workplace and evaluate employee tasks to identify hazards, conditions, operations and situations that could lead to violence.

To find areas requiring further evaluation, the team or coordinator should:

  • Analyze incidents, including the characteristics of assailants and victims, an account of what happened before and during the incident, and the relevant details of the situation and its outcome. When possible, obtain police reports and recommendations.
  • Identify jobs or locations with the greatest risk of violence as well as processes and procedures that put employees at risk of assault, including how often and when.
  • Note high-risk factors such as:
    • types of clients or patients (for example, those with psychiatric conditions or who are disoriented by drugs, alcohol or stress)
    • physical risk factors related to building layout or design
    • isolated locations and job activities
    • lighting problems
    • lack of phones and other communication devices
    • areas of easy and unsecured access
    • areas with previous security problems
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing security measures, including engineering controls. Determine if risk factors have been reduced or eliminated and take appropriate action.



Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. When should periodic surveys be conducted?

2. Which of the following is an important screening tool to confirm the need for improved security measures?

3. The safety coordinator should identify jobs or locations with the greatest risk of violence.

4. The recommended program for worksite analysis includes _____.

Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.