Building a Safe Workplace & Community

Workplace Violence: (Defined by OSHA): Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.

Workplace violence is an important public health issue and a growing concern in healthcare, particularly since the COVID 19 pandemic. Many studies show that healthcare workers, specifically nurses, are at a much higher risk than most other professions.

Here are a few facts to consider from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

  • 80 percent of nurses do not feel safe in their workplace.
  • In a survey of 125 ED nurses, intensive care unit and general floor nurses at a regional medical center, 82 percent of ED nurses have been physically assaulted at work in one year.
  • 25 percent of psychiatric nurses experienced disabling injuries from patient assaults.
  • Studies show that between 35-80 percent of hospital staff have been physically assaulted at least once during their careers.

At Carson Tahoe Health, we take workplace violence very seriously and have a dedicated team of individuals who make up our Workplace Violence Committee. Through this committee, and efforts across the organization, we have built a Workplace Violence Prevention Program. This helps identify the different levels of physical assault or attack and create an action plan that goes along with those incidences. Our belief is zero tolerance, but we also build process improvements to work towards protecting our employees to ensure they are able to care for our patients in a safe environment.

One of the ways we keep track of workplace violence incidences is through a reporting system. “Whatever type of workplace violence our employees are experiencing, from whatever source, they report it in our system, and that is where the WPV Committee obtains our data and follows up on the events reported,” says Vicky Olson, RN, Workplace Violence Prevention Program Coordinator. If you’d like to learn more and join the fight against workplace violence, visit the American Hospital Association, Hospitals Against Violence at https://www.aha.org/hospitals-against-violence/human-trafficking/workplace-violence.