Staff Safety: Understanding the Challenges of Workplace Violence

April 6, 2017

With 80 % of employees effected each year with workplace violence in the healthcare industry, staff safety is of major concern to staff and administrators alike.  With changes in healthcare, Medicaid, and technology there are many obstacle to overcome, and staff needs to feel confident that help is available whenever needed.

According to OSHA, there are many risk factors that vary by healthcare setting, but there are some common factors that contribute to workplace violence: 

  • No emergency communication system in place



  • Lifting, moving, and transporting patients

  • Working alone

  • Poor environmental designs that may block vision or escape routes

  • Poor lighting in hallways or exterior areas

  • Working in neighborhoods with high crime rates

  • Inadequate security staff

  • Unrestricted public access

Workplace violence comes at a high cost, whether it be time off or medical attention. There’s also the less obvious costs; such as stress, fatigue, and employee turnover.   With all these factors, why not create an environment that protects staff and reduces the costs involved with workplace violence?  There are many solutions out there, but many are costly without proven results.

Helpful Staff Safety Options:

  • A complete safety communication system that includes a staff duress button that is worn by staff that sends alarms and alerts to nurse stations, mobile devices, and security consoles.

  • Prevention Programs; a comprehensive program with safety training, worksite analysis, record keeping, and hazard identification can help tremendously *if* your management and team members are committed and participate

When you understand the challenges that staff can face, you can better understand how to come up with a solution that will make them feel safe and protected while they are at work.

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