DOC

Workplace Violence

By Jeffrey Owens,2014-06-17 18:20
7 views 0
Workplace Violence ...

    Workplace Violence

    Prevention Program

    Guidelines

    Written By______________________________

    Last Updated____________________________

     1

    Contents

    Introduction …………………………………………………………….. Page 3 How to use this Guide ………………………………………………… Page 3 What is Workplace Violence …………………………………………. Page 4 Typology of Workplace Violence …………………………………….. Page 4 Elements of an Effective Workplace Violence Prevention Program Page 5

    Getting Started ………………………………………………………… Page 5 The Workplace Violence Policy Statement ………………………… Page 6 Program Development ………........................................................ Page 6 Risk Evaluation and determination ………………………………….. Page 7 Implementation of Prevention Control Measures ………………….. Page 8 The Workplace Violence Prevention Program …………………….. Page 9 Employee Information and Training ………………………………… Page 9 Recordkeeping ………………………………. ………………………. Page 10 Program Effectiveness and Employer Commitment ………………. Page 10 Discrimination ………………………………………………………….. Page 11 Post-Incident Response ………………………………………………. Page 11 Sample Policy Statement ……………………………………………… Appendix 1 Workplace Violence Incident Report …………………………………. Appendix 2 Workplace Security Checklists. ……………………………………….. Appendix 3 Sample Employee Questionnaire ……………………………………... Appendix 4

     Focus Group Information……………………………………………….. Appendix 5

     2

    Introduction

    On June 7, 2006 New York State enacted Article 2 Section 27-b of the New York State Labor Law entitled The Workplace Violence Prevention Act for Public Employees. This law requires public employers to develop and implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan, employers with 20 or more full time employees must develop their plan in writing. Schools covered under the school safety plan requirements of the education law are exempt from this requirement.

    The law required that the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) promulgate regulations detailing implementation of the provisions of the law. NYSDOL has drafted 12 NYCRR Part 800.6 “Public Employer Workplace Violence Prevention Programs” (WVPP) to fulfill that obligation. The Department received comments from a number of public employers and public employee unions prior to preparing the regulation for publication in the State Register. The proposed regulation was published for the second and final comment period in the State Register on 9/19/2007. There is a 45 day period in which interested parties may comment on the regulation, and a public hearing is scheduled for November 20, 2007. Although the regulation will not be in its final form until after that time, the framework in the regulations should be used to guide the establishment of public employer workplace violence prevention programs. The regulations are based on the requirements in Section 27-b and incorporate many of the related principles found in successful Safety and Health Management Programs.

    How to Use this Guide

    The guide may be used to assist public employers and public employees in understanding key steps in establishing a public employer WVPP. A critical starting point is establishing a process that includes the key stakeholders in an agency, reviewing requirements in the law and draft regulations, evaluating existing agency programs, and then working to address gaps identified in the review. This guidebook is designed to assist public employers and public employee union leaders so that they can build programs that comply with the law and beyond that, reduce injuries, costs, and associated negative impacts on agency operations that are caused by workplace violence.

    The guide is a tool to help in tailoring programs to the actual needs and conditions of different types of public employment covered by the law. Different interventions should be developed based on the type of work that is being performed and type of exposures that are experienced. Public employees work in field service, institutional, and administrative settings located in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, with input from those at risk, is critical to developing an effective WVPP.

     3

    What is Workplace Violence?

12 NYCRR PART 800.6 defines workplace violence as “Any physical assault,

    threatening behavior, verbal abuse occurring where the public employee performs any

    work-related duty in the course of his or her employment”.

Various high profile cases affecting the New York State public sector included:

    ? The death of four Watkins Glen social service workers who were murdered by a

    client whose check was being garnished for non payment of child support

    ? The murder of a Buffalo mental health intensive case manager by a patient

    during a home visit

    ? The stabbing of a state public relations officer in her office by a citizen who was

    enraged by certain state policies

High profile events like these represent a tiny fraction of workplace violence incidents.

    The majority of incidents in the public sector workplace include assaults and verbal and

    non-verbal threats from customers, patients, clients, co-workers and inmates. It is very

    important that those who are establishing WVPP’s understand the different types of

    violence and the varying types of responses they require.

    Typology of Workplace Violence

The typology of workplace violence was developed by California OSHA, and it

    describes the relationship between the perpetrator and the target of workplace violence:

    Type 1 Criminal Intent: Violent acts by criminals who have no other connection with the workplace but enter to commit a robbery or other crime. An example of a type 1

    workplace violence incident is the hostage taking and robbery committed at a New York

    State Department of Motor Vehicles License and Violation Center in November 2004.

Type 2 Customer/client/patient: Violence directed at employees by customers, clients,

    patients, students, inmates or any others whom the public employer provides a service

    to. This is the predominant type of violence in an institutional type setting typical to

    healthcare and social services.

    Type 3 Co-Worker: Violence against coworkers, supervisors, or managers by a present or former employee.

    Type 4 Personal: Violence in the workplace by someone who doesn’t work there, but has a personal relationship with an employee. This refers to domestic violence situations and is usually

    perpetrated by an acquaintance or family member while the employee is at work.

     4

    Elements of an Effective Workplace Violence Prevention Program

The main components of any effective safety and health program can be applied to

    the prevention of workplace violence. These include:

? Management commitment and employee involvement

    ? Risk Evaluation

    ? Hazard control

    ? Workplace Violence Prevention Policy

    ? Employee training

    ? Record keeping system

    ? Program evaluation

    Getting Started

Successful agency plans usually start by forming a planning group, task force, or using

    an existing safety and health committee. 12 NYCRR PART 800.6 requires the

    participation of the Authorized Employee Representative. In addition to union

    involvement, getting input from staff, who have the most direct experience with the

    problem of workplace violence, will help ensure that the risk assessment and hazard

    controls are relevant, useful, and effective. The draft regulation’s minimum requirements

    are:

    “The Authorized Employee Representative is given an opportunity

    to contribute information, assist with analyzing statistics, conduct

    the workplace risk evaluation and determination, and participate in

    incident reviews.”

Union involvement is particularly effective where there are existing labor-management

    or health and safety committees. Involving unions up-front, before decisions are made,

    often leads to more effective programs and prevents adversarial outcomes. Additionally,

    unions often express employees’ concerns and bring significant expertise and

    resources to the table. For example, a number of public employee unions have

    professional health and safety staff, training grants, and experience in developing

    violence prevention programs. Labor/Management cooperation demonstrates the

    agency’s and union’s commitment to the success of a workplace violence program.

Although there is no ban on using existing committees or forums, employers should

    consider whether existing committees will allow adequate resources for the scope of

    work that needs to be performed to build an effective WVPP.

     5

    The Workplace Violence Prevention Policy Statement

    The regulation requires the employer to post a Workplace Violence Prevention Policy Statement in a conspicuous location where employee notices are normally posted. The policy statement can be a one page document that briefly summarizes the employer’s commitment to staff safety and health, the WVPP goals and objectives, how to report an incident and specifically to whom, and the process the employer will use to ensure employee and union participation in the program. A sample Workplace Violence Prevention Policy Statement in contained in Appendix 1 of these guidelines.

    Program Development

    The WVPP needs to include a description of the factors identified in the risk assessment and the methods the employer will use to prevent workplace violence. There is no “one size fits all” WVPP that is effective. The unique risks associated with different types of operations should form the basis of the final program. Employers are encouraged to integrate existing policies and procedures into their WVPP, especially if they have proven to be effective.

    An employer that has more than one location under its jurisdiction can often share the base plan agency-wide. However, to complete the program each site must perform certain elements of the risk evaluation, such as an environmental security inspection. Additionally, employers should demonstrate that they have implemented specific control measures based on the assessment that are intended to protect employees from the risks associated with their jobs.

The Workplace Violence Prevention standard is performance-based and not

    prescriptive. The intent is to allow employers flexibility in determining the appropriate methods they choose to employ. Upon completion of the required elements, the employer is responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of the WVPP through periodic review and investigation of incidents and reports.

     6

    Risk Evaluation and Determination

The employer is responsible for assessing the employees’ work environment for the risk

    factors (hazards) they are actually or potentially exposed to. 12 NYCRR PART 800.6

    requires the participation of the Authorized Employee Representative during this

    process. The following are key methods of conducting the risk evaluation:

1. A review of the employee accident and illness statistical information may help

    identify trends and the types, causes, and severity of injuries. Public employers in

    New York State are required to maintain the SH 900 Log of Occupational Injuries

    and Illnesses. This may be a useful source of information. Some public

    employers maintain their own databases, as well as various types of incident

    reporting databases. Additionally, where physical assaults are a frequent

    occurrence, evaluating workers’ compensation experience and costs may be

    useful.

2. A physical workplace evaluation should consider the need for security

    improvements based on the type of setting and other occupational factors. For

    example, is money kept at the location? Is it operated round the clock, seven

    days a week? Is it located in a high crime area? This part of the assessment will

    look at building access, lighting, door locks, alarms, isolated spaces, etc.

    Appendix 3 of these guidelines includes model Workplace Security Checklists

    that can be tailored to the physical evaluation of your buildings and grounds.

3. Employers may generate additional risk and prevention information by

    conducting staff surveys and/or focus groups. If a survey is used, it is important

    to consider how the data will be used when drafting the questions. Responses

    should be confidential, and the survey should be simple to complete. Allowing it

    to be completed at work will facilitate a high response rate. Focus groups are

    small groups of staff, where a neutral facilitator generates a rich discussion of

    perceived risk factors and solutions. A sample employee survey and focus group

    guidance are in Appendices 4 and 5, respectively.

4. A review of existing policies, for example: violence prevention, crisis response,

    restraint and seclusion, critical incident management, domestic violence in the

    workplace, workplace conflict, and relations with criminal justice authorities.

    Gaining input from clients, patients, and customers may also provide valuable

    information on risk factors for workplace violence.

Throughout the risk evaluation process, the group should document its findings. These

    records may be used to guide the development of the written WVPP and also to

    document the risk assessment process and its conclusions.

     7

    Implementation of Prevention Control Measures

The employer is responsible for analyzing the risk evaluation data to determine

    appropriate control measures that will prevent or reduce workplace violence. It is

    advisable to involve the committee that assisted in the development of the risk

    assessment data when creating the policy statement and in the review process when

    determining the implementation of control measures. It is a good idea to implement

    feasible control measures as soon as they have been identified. However, some hazard

    controls will require research, budgetary, or long term planning (capital projects). It is

    important to document such planning.

    There are three main types of control measures, referred to as the “hierarchy of control measures”, as follows:

1) Engineering controls eliminate or reduce the hazard through substitution or design.

    Examples include:

    a. increased lighting

    b. designing secure building access

    c. security hardware

    d. eliminating isolated work areas

    e. eliminating “cash on hand” or installing drop safes

2) Administrative or work practice controls eliminate or reduce the hazard by changing

    organizational policies and procedures. Examples include:

    a. increased staffing

    b. employment of security personnel

    c. developing building access control procedures

    d. cross-shift communication to share information regarding agitated clients

    e. providing information on criminal history and violence information on clients,

    inmates, customers

    f. elimination of long customer wait times

    g. provision of personal alarms

    h. provision of cell phones for field workers

    i. training

3) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) examples include:

    a. gloves, respirators, hard hats, and bullet proof vests (For the most part, this

    type of intervention is not relevant to workplace violence prevention)

The employer has a responsibility to address all risk factors that their employees are

    potentially exposed to. When considering the most appropriate control measures, an

    effort should be made to try to eliminate the hazard whenever possible. When total

    elimination is not possible, try to change the way the job is being performed, assigned

    or scheduled to reduce the hazard. Training should not be relied upon as the only

    control measure, and interventions should have a balanced approach to changing

    individual worker versus organizational behavior.

     8

    The Workplace Violence Prevention Program (WVPP)

The written WVPP program must include:

? a list of the risk factors found during the workplace evaluation

    ? the control methods the employer will use to prevent workplace violence

    incidents

    ? a copy of the policy statement

    ? a description of the employer’s risk evaluation and determination process

    ? the employer’s critical incident management or crisis counseling program and

     how employees may access it

    ? a description of the workplace violence reporting system and how the data are

     analyzed

    ? a detailed description of training programs that the employer is providing to

     address the various risk factors

    ? a description of agreements with law enforcement agencies, as needed

    ? WVPP annual review dates

Upon completion of the written WVPP, the employer is responsible for ensuring the

    policies are implemented and are fairly enforced within the workplace.

The written program and copies of the risk assessments will be made available to

    employees, their authorized representatives and the Department of Labor upon request.

    Employee Information and Training

Employee training is required upon completion of the WVPP and annually thereafter.

    Retraining is required any time there is a significant change to the program, a risk factor

    or work control. Training topics should include at least the following:

? Requirements of the workplace violence regulation

    ? Details of the risk factors identified in the risk assessment and the organization’s

     procedures for conducting the risk assessment

    ? How to obtain a copy of the WVPP and where it is kept

    ? How employees can protect themselves, report threats and incidents, and

     suggest improvements to the program

    ? Description and details of the employer’s written Workplace Violence Prevention

     Program

    ? How to obtain post-incident crisis counseling

    ? Training on dealing with potentially violent clients, patients, co-workers and

     inmates should be provided. Examples of existing programs include Preventing

     and Managing Crisis Situations (PMCS), Community Mental Health Worker

     Safety Training, and Strategies for Crisis Intervention and Prevention (SCIP).

    ? In general, video or computer-based training alone is not a sufficient method for

     delivering violence prevention training

     9

? How to initiate an emergency alerting system for imminent danger situations or

     when staff needs emergency assistance. Alerting systems are commonly found

     in high-risk settings such as prisons, emergency rooms, and psychiatric

     hospitals. Examples of these systems include personal alarm devices, codes,

     drop phones, and panic alarms. Assigning and training appropriate personnel to

     respond is a key component of these systems.

    Recordkeeping

The record keeping requirements outlined in 12 NYCRR Part 801, Recording and

    Reporting Public Employees’ Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, must be used for

    workplace violence incidents.

In addition to Part 801, the employer needs to create an incident reporting system to

    ensure that all threats and workplace violence incidents are reported to management.

    These reports will provide written notification when a violence incident occurs so that

    management can develop an appropriate response. Also, the Incident Report will create

    a historical record that can be used in the annual risk assessment and program

    evaluation. A sample incident reporting form is attached as Appendix 2 of this document.

Employers can tailor their recordkeeping practices to the needs of their violence

    prevention program. The purpose of maintaining records is to enable the employer to

    monitor its on-going efforts, to determine if the violence prevention program is working,

    and to identify ways to improve it. Employers may find the following types of records

    useful for this purpose:

    ? Records of employee and other injuries and illnesses at the establishment ? Records describing incidents involving violent acts or threats, even if the incident did not

    involve an injury or a criminal act (Records of events involving abuse, verbal attacks, or

    aggressive behavior can help identify patterns and risks that are not evident from the

    smaller set of cases that actually result in injury or crime.) ? Written risk evaluation

    ? Recommendations of police advisors, employees, or consultants ? Up-to-date records of actions taken to deter violence, including work practice controls and

    other corrective steps

    ? Notes of safety meetings and training records

    Program Effectiveness and Evaluation

The employer, with the Authorized Employee Representative, shall evaluate the

    effectiveness of the WVPP, at least annually or after serious incidents. The employer

    should attempt to describe within their WPP the triggering event that will initiate a review

    for example repeat incidents within a short time frame, an injury requiring more than

    basic first aid. The review should focus on incident trends and the effectiveness of the

    control measures. The review should also assess whether the reporting and record

    keeping systems have been effective in collecting all relevant information.

     10

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com