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Investigating Workplace Violence Events

Once the immediate needs of the affected employees, patients, or visitors are met, the process of investigating the event should start. OSHA recommends the following steps to be followed:
  • Report as required- Notify the proper parties, both within the organization and outside (eg, authorities). 
  • Involve workers in the incident investigation- The employees who work most closely in the incident area may have special insight into the causes and solutions.
  • Identify root causes- Conduct a root cause analysis of the incident. Don’t stop an investigation at “worker error” or “unpredictable event.” Ask “why” the patient or client acted, “why” the worker responded in a certain way, etc.
  • Collect and review other information- Review records related to training, maintenance, inspections, audits, and past incident reports that may be relevant to the investigation.
  • Investigate near misses- Near misses are situations that could have resulted in death, injury, or illness.  Such incidents should be promptly investigated as well.