Policy 1430 - Attachment 2 - Violence Free Workplace Policy
Revision Date: 8/21/2002
Responsible Office: Human Resources Office
Reference: University of Louisiana System, Policy M-11, Board Rule Chapter 3, Section XIX
HAZARD PREVENTION AND CONTROL
After hazards of violence are identified through the systematic workplace analysis, the next step is to design measures through engineering or administrative and work practices to prevent or control these hazards. If violence does occur, incident response can be an important tool in preventing future incidents.
2.0 ENGINEERING CONTROLS AND WORKPLACE ADAPTATION
2.1 Engineering controls, for example, remove the hazard from the workplace or create a barrier between the worker and the hazard. There are several measures that can effectively prevent or control workplace hazards, such as those actions presented in the following paragraphs. The selection of any measure should be based upon the hazards identified in the workplace security analysis of each faculty.
2.1.1 Assess any plans for new construction or physical changes to the facility or workplace to eliminate or reduce security hazards.
2.1.2 Install and regularly maintain alarm systems and other security devices, panic buttons, hand-held alarms or noise devices, cellular phones, and private channel radios where risk is apparent or may be anticipated; and arrange for a reliable response system when an alarm is triggered.
2.1.3 Provide metal detectors–installed or hand-held, where appropriate–to identify guns, knives or other weapons, according to the recommendation of security consultants.
2.1.4 Use a closed-circuit video recording for high-risk areas on a 24-hour basis. Public safety is a greater concern than privacy in these situations.
2.1.5 Place curved mirrors at hallway intersections or concealed areas.
2.1.6 Enclose public service areas, such as nurses’ stations and drivers’ license centers, and install deep service counters or bullet-resistant, shatter-proof glass.
2.1.7 Provide employee “safe rooms” for use during emergencies.
2.1.8 Provide waiting areas designed to maximize comfort and minimize stress.
2.1.9 Arrange furniture to prevent entrapment of staff. In interview rooms or crisis treatment areas, furniture should be minimal, lightweight, without sharp corners or edges, and/or affixed to the floor. Limit the number of pictures, vases, ashtrays, or other items that can be used as weapons.
2.1.10 Provide lockable and secure bathrooms for staff members separate from patient-client and visitor facilities.
2.1.11 Lock all unused doors to limit access in accordance with fire codes.
2.1.12 Install bright, effective lighting indoors and outdoors.
2.1.13 Replace burned-out lights, broken windows, and locks.
2.1.14 Keep automobiles well-maintained. Always lock automobiles.
3.0 ADMINISTRATIVE AND WORK PRACTICE CONTROLS
- 3.1 Administrative and work practice controls affect the way jobs or tasks are performed.
The following examples illustrate how changes in work practices and administrative
procedures can help prevent violent incidents.
- 3.1.1 State clearly to patients, clients, and employees that violence is not permitted or tolerated.
- 3.1.2 Establish liaisons with local police and state prosecutors. Report all incidents of violence. Provide police with physical layouts of facilities to expedite investigations.
- 3.1.3 Require employees to report all assaults or threats to a supervisor or manager (e.g., can be confidential interview). Keep log books and reports of such incidents to help in determining any necessary actions to prevent further occurrences.
- 3.1.4 If needed, advise and assist employees of procedures for requesting police assistance or filing charges when assaulted.
- 3.1.5 Provide management support during emergencies. Respond promptly to all complaints.
- 3.1.6 Set up a trained response team to respond to emergencies.
- 3.1.7 Use properly trained security/police officers, when necessary, to deal with aggressive behavior, or dial 4018 or 9-911, as appropriate. Follow written security procedures.
- 3.1.8 Ensure adequate and properly trained staff for restraining patients or clients.
- 3.1.9 Provide sensitive and timely information to persons waiting in line or in waiting rooms. Adopt measures to decrease waiting time.
- 3.1.10 Ensure adequate and qualified staff coverage at all times, taking into account the times of greatest risk at each facility.
- 3.1.11 Institute a sign-in procedure with passes for visitors. Enforce visitor hours and procedures.
- 3.1.12 Control access to facilities other than waiting rooms or other public access rooms.
- 3.1.13 Prohibit employees from working alone in areas of substantial risk, particularly at night or when assistance is unavailable.
- 3.1.14 Establish policies and procedures for secured areas and emergency evacuations.
- 3.1.15 Ascertain the behavioral history of new and transferred patients and clients to learn about any past violent or assaultive behaviors. Establish a system -- such as chart tags, log books, or verbal census reports -- to identify patients and clients with assaultive behavior problems, keeping in mind patient confidentiality and worker safety issues. Update as needed.
- 3.1.16 Treat and/or interview aggressive or agitated individuals in relatively open areas that still maintain privacy and confidentiality (e.g., rooms with removable partitions).
- 3.1.17 Use case management conferences with co-workers and supervisors to discuss ways to effectively treat potentially violent individuals.
- 3.1.18 Prepare contingency plans to deal with individuals who are “acting out” or making verbal or physical attacks or threats.
- 3.1.19 Transfer assaultive clients to “acute care units,” “criminal units,” or other more restrictive settings.
- 3.1.20 Periodically survey the facility to remove tools or possessions left by visitors or maintenance staff which could be used inappropriately.
- 3.1.21 Provide staff with identification badges, preferably without last names, to readily verify employment.
- 3.1.22 Provide staff members with security escorts to parking areas in evening or late hours. Parking areas should be highly visible, well-lighted, and safely accessible to the building.
- 3.1.23 Use the “buddy system,” especially when personal safety may be threatened. Encourage employees to avoid threatening situations. Staff should exercise extra care in elevators, stairwells, and unfamiliar surroundings; immediately leave premises if there is a hazardous situation; request security/police escort if needed.
- 3.1.24 Develop policies and procedure covering how off-site visits will be conducted, the presence of others during the visits, and the refusal to provide services in a clearly hazardous situation.
- 3.1.25 Establish a daily work plan for field staff to keep a designated contact person informed about workers’ whereabouts throughout the workday. If an employee does not report in, the contact person should follow up.
- 3.1.26 Conduct a comprehensive post-incident evaluation, including psychological as well as medical treatment, for employees who have been subjected to abusive behavior.