The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently fined the Children’s Hospital in Oakland for allegedly failing to protect workers from violence in the emergency department.  The hospital was penalized for “having an ineffective training program, incomplete and inadequate procedures to deal with safety concerns, and an incomplete and untimely hazard correction for workplace violence exposures in the emergency department.”

Lessons Learned: The first lesson learned is obvious…organizations must have a comprehensive workplace violence program in place and ensure that all staff has been adequately trained on how to prevent and respond to incidents of violence, identify red flags and report all threats, risks, suspicious incidents, etc. to the appropriate personnel.  Organizations must also ensure they are responding to all incident reports in a timely manner and that all actions and updates are documented for compliance, improving internal controls and legal due diligence.

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