Workplace violence within healthcare is not a new phenomenon. In 1994 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported that healthcare providers had the highest rate of fatal injuries due to workplace violence compared to all other industry. In response, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) published “Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers” in 2002.
All of the reports recommend the completion of a workplace analysis in order to start the process. This analysis is a security risk assessment or survey focused on the control and prevention of hazards related to violence. They recommend that the analysis focus on the use of engineering controls in order to reduce violence. That means restricting access through the manipulation of the physical environment, using physical barriers placed between people and hazards that allow for the screening of persons or the restriction of access and creating a work environment where people are continuously controlled and screened throughout the organization, where work spaces are designed to keep physical structures between staff and others.