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OSHA's Workplace Violence Policy

Were you aware that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has had a written workplace violence prevention policy in place applicable to all OSHA employees for several years?

Entitled "Violence in the Workplace," OSHA's policy can be found at Chapter 10 of the OSHA Field Safety and Health Management System (SHMS) Manual. By policy, the term "Workplace Violence" is

defined as "An action, whether verbal, written, or physical aggression, that is intended to control, cause or is capable of causing injury to oneself or other, emotional harm, or damage to property."

The stated purpose of this policy is "to provide a workplace that is free from violence, harassment, intimidation and other disruptive behavior."

In addition to barring physical violence such as "assault" the policy also bars "intimidating behavior" such as "threats or other conduct that in any way create a hostile environment, impair Agency operations, or frighten, alarm or inhibit others."

This policy also provides written protocols governing a reporting procedure and investigations into workplace violence complaints. The appendix to the policy also contains a form entitled "Incident Report" that is to be utilized after a complaint is filed.

The Assistant Regional Admnistrator/Director for Administrative Program or his/her equivalent is responisble for disseminating workplace violence prevention policies and procedures to all OSHA employees.

Although there is no "one size fits all" policy governing violence in the workplace, OSHA's policy may provide guidance on how one might be developed.

Further information regarding OSHA's workplace violence policy may be found here:


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