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Workplace Violence: An OSHA Priority

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), along with insurance companies, is focusing on workplace violence as a significant loss factor to a company's bottom line. The most recent estimates are that acts of workplace violence now cost the nation's companies more than $36 billion annually. When we fail to address workplace violence issues adequately, we lose money from four sources:

CONFIDENCE: Immediate loss of employee and customer confidence immediately after the violent act;
DOWN TIME: Long-term loss of employees and customers who will not work or conduct business in an unsafe environment;
OPERATING CAPITAL: Long-term loss of operating capital spent to defend its interests during litigation and paying worker's compensation claims; and
INCREASED INSURANCE PREMIUMS: Long-term costs of increased D & O, property, casualty and worker's compensation insurance.

Many states now mandate that employers implement a written workplace safety program designed to prevent, address and report a variety of incidents that may compromise an employee's safety. These written workplace safety programs often specify that a company must develop, implement and monitor the effectiveness of a workplace violence prevention program.

You should check with your insurer or OSHA and find out what your state requires regarding policies, procedures and training programs.

Such a written program is generally the first thing that OSHA examiners want to see when they conduct on-site inspections.

Be prepared.

Copyright © 1997 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 7, No. 8, 7/97

First published on 07/01/1997

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