Last month, OSHA launched an online resource to help prevent injuries and violence to workers in the healthcare industry. The launch sheds light on the safety risks facing healthcare workers.

Working in a hospital can be surprisingly dangerous: over 150 healthcare workers out of every 10,000 experience an incident of violence in the workplace, three times the total of other private industries like manufacturing or construction.

Patients, visitors, and healthcare personnel may be facing high-stress situations. However, risks of injury and violence in healthcare settings can be decreased when healthcare systems commit to safety and security.

OSHA recommends implementing a safety and health management system to create a safer workplace for staff and an overall better healthcare experience for patients and visitors. The following are      6 key elements necessary to create safety and health management systems.

1. Management Leadership
Managers, administrators, and others in leadership should communicate their commitment to sustaining a safe healthcare environment through establishing goals and procedures, providing resources and support, and setting a good example for workers.
2. Employee Participation
Employees should be actively engaged in creating safety and health management systems, reporting any hazards that they notice to administration and security personnel.
3. Hazard Identification and Assessment
One of the best ways to prevent these hazards is by proactive risk assessments. Assessments must be completed on a continuous basis to identify possible risks and update safety plans and procedures. We would recommend partnering with certified and experienced security industry specialists in conducting assessments.
4. Hazard Prevention and Control
These are the measurable plans, procedures, and protocols established to maintain a safe healthcare environment.
5. Education and Training
Having a trained, knowledgeable workforce will help to prevent accidents. Training should be holistic and cover a number of possible scenarios. A few examples of procedures that workers should be trained on are:

  • Crisis Prevention
  • Hazardous Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Emergency Procedures

6. System Evaluation and Improvement
The system should be measured and monitored and necessary measures should be taken to improve its effectiveness.

These elements are useful in creating a culture of safety and high-quality patient care. Worker safety is a serious issue, but with strong leadership, planning, and a trained security and healthcare staff these incidents can be minimized.

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