Record keeping is essential to the program’s success. Good records help employers determine the severity of the problem, evaluate methods of hazard control and identify training needs. Records can be especially useful to large organizations and for members of a business group or trade association who “pool” data. Records of injuries, illnesses, accidents, assaults, hazards, corrective actions and training can help identify problems and solutions for an effective program.
The employer needs to create an incident reporting system to ensure that all threats and workplace violence incidents are reported to management. These reports will provide written notification when a violent incident occurs so that management can develop an appropriate response. Also, the Incident Report will create a historical record that can be used in the annual risk assessment and program evaluation.
When developing your record keeping practices, please consider your OSHA or state requirements. Employers can tailor their record keeping practices to the needs of their violence prevention program. The purpose of maintaining records is to enable the employer to monitor its on-going efforts, to determine if the violence prevention program is working, and to identify ways to improve it. Employers may find the following types of records useful for this purpose:
- OSHA Log of Work Related Injury and Illness (OSHA Form 300). Employers who are required to keep this log must record any new work-related injury that results in death, days away from work, days of restriction or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness or a significant injury diagnosed by a licensed health care professional. Injuries caused by assaults must be entered on the log if they meet the recording criteria. All employers must report, within 24 hours, a fatality or an incident that results in the hospitalization of three or more employees.
- Records of employee and other injuries and illnesses at the organization/location.
- Records describing incidents involving violent acts or threats, even if the incident did not involve an injury or a criminal act (Records of events involving abuse, verbal attacks, or aggressive behavior can help identify patterns and risks that are not evident from the smaller set of cases that result in injury or crime.)
- Recommendations of police advisors, employees, or consultants
- Up-to-date records of actions taken to deter violence, including work practice controls and other corrective steps
- Notes of safety meetings and training records.