This reinforces what many of you have heard our risk management service, Sorensen Wilder & Associates (SWA), repeat over and over in the Active Shooter in the Healthcare Facility program…domestic violence impacts every one of us and every one of us is vulnerable. There are no guarantees that it won’t happen in any of our places of business. The size of the town doesn’t matter (this one was 500 people). The size of the facility doesn’t matter (this one was 24 beds).
What can we do? Here are some thoughts:
1. Make sure your workplace violence prevention plan is up to date, and that it incorporates a sub-section on domestic violence.
2. Encourage employees who are the victims of domestic abuse to come forward and confidentially report it in the workplace.
3. Develop a domestic violence protection program that affords special features of protection to employees who report domestic violence to you.
4. Educate your employees on the risk of domestic violence, the importance of communication, and the steps you are able to take in the workplace to protect them if they come forward and report the domestic violence to you.
5. Practice, practice, practice!!!
Right now, OSHA relies on Guideline 3148 for domestic violence preparedness in the healthcare workplace. As a guideline, it cannot be enforced on its own, but is enforced under section 5(a)(1) of the General Duty Clause. We also know that OSHA has developed a proposed standard for workplace violence in the healthcare setting, and it may be codified as a standard as soon as this year.
SWA will continue to update as needed, but they wanted to remind all of you of the criticality of a workplace violence prevention program (incorporating domestic violence issues) and the need for competency based training as part of your preparedness program.