OSHA Issues Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Workplace Violence Incidents

Recognizing workplace violence as a serious occupational hazard that has ranked among the top causes of death in workplaces in recent years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a directive on ‘Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Incidents of Workplace Violence’ that establishes general policy guidance and procedures for OSHA field offices to apply when conducting inspections in response to incidents of workplace violence. The OSHA directive is available at http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02-01-052.pdf.

“Workplace violence” is defined as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” Workplace violence can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide, and can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), 506 of the 4,547 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the U.S. in 2010 were workplace homicides and more than 3,000 people died from workplace homicide between 2006 and 2010. Homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. and the leading cause of death for women in the workplace.

OSHA claims nearly 2 million American workers report being victims of workplace violence each year. Since workplace violence incidents can be avoided or decreased if employers take appropriate precautions to protect their workers, OSHA has created a new Web page on Preventing Workplace Violence to assist employers in addressing workplace violence issues. To access OSHA’s Web page on preventing workplace violence for more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/index.html.

Studies by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/violence show that employers who implement effective safety measures can reduce workplace violence incidents through employee training, written zero-tolerance policies, and encouraging employees to report assaults or threats. Another method of reducing workplace violence is by implementing a Safe Hiring Program (SHP) using employment screening background checks of job applicants.

Employers may use an accredited background screening firm to perform background checks. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a nationwide background check firm located in the San Francisco area and accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). ESR’s founder and President, Attorney Les Rosen, is the author of  ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ the first comprehensive guide to employment screening background checks.

For more information about implementing a Safe Hiring Program, visit the Employment Screening Resources (ESR) website at http://www.ESRcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions.  ESR is one of a select few firms accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.