On January 10, 2017, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a directive on Enforcement Procedures and Scheduling for Occupational Exposure to Workplace Violence (CPL 02-01-058). This directive supersedes the September 2011 Directive (CPL 02-01-52), Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Incidents of Workplace Violence. The directive updates the uniform procedures for OSHA field staff to apply when responding to incidents and complaints relating to workplace violence.
- Explains the steps that should be taken in reviewing incidents of workplace violence when considering whether to initiate an inspection.
- Describes what is required to support the elements of a citation under the General Duty Clause, recognizing that different types of settings pose distinct hazards which have varying abatement solutions.
- Identifies the resources available to OSHA staff conducting inspections and developing citations.
- Highlights how Area Offices should assist employers in addressing the issue of workplace violence.
The new directive clarifies the different types of healthcare settings where workplace violence incidents are reasonably foreseeable; expands the OSHA recognized high-risk industries to include corrections and taxi driving; identifies more resources for OSHA inspectors; explains the review process for settlement agreements; and updates notification dates.
Workplace violence is a serious recognized occupational hazard. Currently OSHA has issued non-mandatory guidelines. However, the aforementioned directive does provide OSHA field staff to evaluate your organization to determine if you have outlined potential workplace hazards, implemented reasonable safety mechanisms, trained your staff and developed record keeping practices in the event of a violent occurrence or complaint.
OSHA’s directive focuses on two primary questions to determine whether or not an investigation or citation (fines) is appropriate. (1) Did the employer recognize potential hazards in the workplace? And (2) Are there feasible means of preventing or minimizing such hazards?
Certain states require violence prevention programs (not federally mandated) such as California, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia for all or certain kinds of employers. Please reference your states’ rules to meet their guidelines.