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Employer's Role in Preventing Workplace Violence

Workplace violence can have a wide impact on a healthcare facility. Not just the individual or group are affected, but the entire organization may suffer. An unsafe workplace will demoralize employees, productivity can be negatively affected, there could be temporary or permanent absence of skilled employees, there could be property damage, increased security costs, increased worker's compensation costs, and it may keep customers from returning and do repeat business, possible lawsuits, etc.
A responsible employer is legally and ethically obligated to provide a safe work environment free from threats and violence. According to the FBI, an employer's violence prevention plan should include, among others:
  • Adopting a workplace violence policy and prevention program and communicating the policy and program to employees.
  • Providing regular training in preventive measures for all new/current employees, supervisors, and managers.
  • Supporting, not punishing, victims of workplace or domestic violence.
  • Adopting and practicing fair and consistent disciplinary procedures.
  • Fostering a climate of trust and respect among workers and between employees and management.
  • When necessary, seeking advice and assistance from outside resources, including threat-assessment psychologists, psychiatrists and other professionals, social service agencies, and law enforcement.