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OSHA Establishes Procedures For Investigating Workplace Violence Incidents

Published by on October 31, 2011

Effective September 8, 2011, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued instructions on procedures for its field offices to apply when conducting inspections in response to incidents of workplace violence. These instructions are the first from OSHA on procedures for investigating workplace violence complaints.  More after the break. The instructions define four […]

Effective September 8, 2011, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued instructions on procedures for its field offices to apply when conducting inspections in response to incidents of workplace violence. These instructions are the first from OSHA on procedures for investigating workplace violence complaints.  More after the break.

The instructions define four types of workplace violence and identify healthcare and social service settings and late-night retail establishments as industries with a high number of incidents of workplace violence.  The instructions provide that OSHA personnel should examine the following criteria when deciding whether to initiate an inspection:

  • Known risk factors of workplace violence (such as working with unstable or volatile persons, working alone, working at night, working in high-crime areas, etc.);
  • Recognition by the employer and/or industry of the potential for workplace violence; and
  • Whether feasible abatement methods exist to address workplace violence hazards.

To review a copy of OSHA’s instructions, click here.

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