As previously mentioned, the employer is responsible for analyzing the risk evaluation data to determine appropriate control measures that will prevent or reduce workplace violence. It is advisable to involve the committee who assisted in the development of the risk assessment data when creating the policy statement and in the review process when determining the implementation of control measures. It is a good idea to implement feasible control measures as soon as they have been identified. However, some hazard controls will require research, budgetary, or long-term planning (capital projects). It is important to document such planning.

There are three main types of control measures, referred to as the “hierarchy of control measures”, as follows:

  1. Engineering controls eliminate or reduce the hazard through substitution or design. Examples include:
  • Increased lighting
  • Designing secure building access
  • Security hardware
  • Eliminating isolated work areas
  • Eliminating “cash on hand” or installing drop safes or deposit pick-ups from armed companies
  1. Administrative or work practice controls eliminate or reduce the hazard by changing organizational policies and procedures. Examples include:
  • State clearly to members, residents and staff that violence is not permitted or tolerated.
  • Require staff to report all assaults or threats to a supervisor or manager (for example, through confidential interview). Keep log books and reports of such incidents to help determine any necessary actions to prevent recurrences.
  • Employment of security personnel
  • Advise staff of organization procedures for requesting police assistance or filing charges when assaulted and help them do so, if necessary.
  • Provide management support during emergencies. Respond promptly to complaints.
  • Set up a trained response team to respond to emergencies.
  • Developing building access control procedures
  • Providing information on criminal history or violence information on members, customers as allowed by state guidelines.
  • Provision of cell phones for field workers
  • Training on how to handle emergencies and learn procedures for potentially violent situations.
  • Conducting criminal background checks on residents if you have a resident facility.
  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) examples include:
  • Gloves, respirators, goggles/glasses, etc. (For the most part, this type of intervention is not relevant to workplace violence prevention).

The employer has responsibility to address all risk factors that their employees are potentially exposed to. When considering the most appropriate control measures, an effort should be made to try to eliminate the hazard whenever possible. When total elimination is not possible, try to change the way the job is being performed, assigned or scheduled to reduce the hazard. Training should not be relied upon as the only control measure, and interventions should have a balanced approach to changing individual worker versus organizational behavior.


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