Management commitment and employee involvement are complementary and essential elements of an effective safety program. To ensure an effective program, management and frontline employees must work together with a planning group, task force or existing safety committee. Getting input from staff, who have the most direct experience with the problem of workplace violence, will help ensure that the risk assessment and hazard controls are relevant, useful and effective.
Management commitment, including the endorsement and visible involvement of top management, provides the motivation and resources to deal effectively with workplace violence. This commitment should include:
- Demonstrating organizational concern for employee emotional and physical safety and health;
- Exhibiting equal commitment to the safety and health of staff and members;
- Assigning responsibility for the various aspects of the workplace violence prevention program to ensure that all managers, supervisors and employees understand their obligations;
- Allocating appropriate authority and resources to all responsible parties;
- Maintaining a system of accountability for involved manager, supervisors and employees;
- Establishing a comprehensive program of medical and psychological counseling and debriefing for employees experiencing or witnessing assaults and other violent incidents; and
- Supporting and implementing appropriate recommendations from the safety committees.
Employee involvement and feedback enable workers to develop and express their own commitment to safety and health and provide useful information to design, implement and evaluate the program.
Employee involvement should include:
- Understanding and complying with the workplace violence prevention program and other safety and security measures;
- Participating in employee complaint or suggestion procedures covering safety and security concerns;
- Reporting violent incidents promptly and accurately;
- Participating in safety committees or teams that receive reports of violent incidents or security problems, make facility inspections and respond with recommendations for corrective strategies; and
- Taking part in a continuing education program that covers techniques to recognize escalating agitation, assaultive behavior or criminal intent and discusses appropriate responses.