Resources - Workplace Violence

Evaluating the Violence Prevention Program

One essential element that cannot be overlooked is to evaluate the violence prevention program on a scheduled basis, and immediately after an incident has occurred. If the program is not evaluated at least annually, this and other problems may never be detected.

As with any program, personnel, facilities, and issues can change within a year and updates must be maintained. Procedures may break down if they are not exercised regularly. In these instances, practice may be necessary to keep procedures effective.

After an incident, it's important to evaluate the program to see if there are any changes that should be made immediately to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.

Steps in the Evaluation Process

  • Appoint knowledgeable employees to conduct the evaluation to ensure effective results..
  • Conduct an initial assessment to determine what program components are in place.
  • Analyze the components of the violence prevention program.
  • Measure improvement based on lowering the frequency and severity of workplace violence.
  • Identify those components that require improvement.
  • Conduct and review the results of an employee survey.
  • Develop ways to improve ineffective components.
  • Educate, train and implement changes in the program.
  • Devise and update your system for measuring improvement.
  • Keep abreast of new strategies to deal with violence.

Assessment and analysis

The initial assessment is important to make sure all critical components of the violence prevention program are present. Once program components have been assessed, it's important to analyze each of the components to determine what they look like. Most components will actually some sort of procedure or process.

In the analysis these procedures and processes are broken down into distinct steps. Each step is then looked at to make sure it is necessary and is effective. The analysis process involves breaking down each component of the program.

Important processes and procedures to analyze:

  • Post incident response procedures.
  • Supervisor/employee walkaround inspection procedures. Do they assess for violence prevention measures?
  • Review the employee survey process. Is is producing valid, reliable date?
  • Review staff meetings/safety committee meetings to determine if they address violence prevention issues.
  • Review workplace violence reporting procedures.
  • Track the process of reporting problems and making engineering and administrative control measures.
  • Review the violence prevention program education and training process.

It's also a good idea to include local law enforcement representatives, legal staff, OSHA, insurer, or private consultants and/or other expert third-party experts to evaluate program processes and procedures.

Important policies, plans, reports and records to analyze

  • Review the written violence prevention plan.
  • Violence prevention program policies. Policies should be informative and directive.
  • Log of injuries and illnesses (OSHA 200 Log) to identify trends in workplace violence-related injuries relative to "baseline" rates.
  • Safety inspection reports.
  • Medical reports of worker injury.
  • Incidents of assault and threats of violence.
  • Post incident response reports.
  • Information on high-risk clients with a history of past violence.
  • Minutes of safety meetings.
  • Job hazard analyses.
  • Records of relevant training conducted, attendees and qualification of trainers.

Evaluate the program after an incident

After an incident occurs, it is especially important to evaluate the workplace violence prevention program and assess its effectiveness. Deficiencies should be identified and corrective action taken. It's crucial to know what risks existed prior to a threat or incident so that the evaluation team can determine what additional security measures, if any, should he put in place after a threat or violent incident.

  • If warranted, provide increased worksite protection when serious threats of violence have been made, such as requesting additional police patrols, hiring security guards, and/or alerting organizations or people who might be affected.
  • Consider the costs and benefits of providing increased protection to threatened employees, such as changing their phone numbers, relocation, loaning them a cellular phone, or providing them with a quick response distress button or information about where this device can be obtained.
  • Counsel potential victims about various civil and criminal options available to them, such as obtaining a restraining order.

When all is said and done

Unfortunately, it does not appear that violence is decreasing in our society. Ultimately, this violence is being played out in the workplace. For legal, and more importantly, human reasons, businesses can no longer choose to ignore this important issue. These guidelines were created to help you in planning how your organization can address this issue. OSHA’s violence prevention guidelines are an essential component to workplace safety and health programs.

OSHA recognizes the importance of effective safety and health program management in providing safe and healthful workplaces. OSHA believes that the performance oriented approach of the guidelines provides employers with flexibility in their efforts to maintain safe and healthful working conditions. OSHA has additional information to help you with this and many other safety and health issues.

Source: OPM Office of Personnel Management

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Copyright ©2000-2016 Geigle Safety Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Federal copyright prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means without permission. Students may reproduce materials for personal study. Disclaimer: This material is for training purposes only to inform the reader of occupational safety and health best practices and general compliance requirement and is not a substitute for provisions of the OSH Act of 1970 or any governmental regulatory agency. CertiSafety is a division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc., and is not connected or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).