One out of six workplace deaths can be attributed to workplace violence. Many employers establish programs in the workplace to prevent, manage and respond to incidents of workplace violence.
The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) issued a position statement on how occupational health nurses can help address workplace violence.
AAOHN said, as a critical link between employers and employees, the occupational health nurse can manage company primary prevention strategies by:
- developing and implementing policies and procedures;
- coordinating employee assistance programs;
- providing recommendations for environmental design strategies to prevent violent acts, and
- conducting research on workplace violence, which can be used to reduce potential risk in the employer''s workplace.
AAOHN said occupational health nurses are uniquely qualified to implement secondary prevention strategies because the nurses are often the first to know of an incident.
"The occupational health nurse also serves as an educator to employees, management, outside publics and stakeholders," said AAOHN.
The association believes that by conducting a workplace risk assessment, the occupational health nurse, along with other members of the emergency response and management team, can intervene when an incident occurs to minimize the crisis at hand and make decisions about how to manage the situation and the persons involved.
AAOHN''s position statement can be viewed online at www.aaohn.org/workviolence_position.htm.
by Virginia Sutcliffe