OSHA Update

The United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated its guidance document Recommendations for Workplace Violence Prevention Programs in Late-Night Retail Establishments that addresses issues causing late-night retail workers to be killed on the job. This is the first time OSHA has updated these guidelines in over a decade.

 

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, U.S. employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance.

 

Please note that these recommendations are advisory in nature and informational in content. It is not a standard or regulation, and it neither creates new legal obligations nor alters existing obligations created by OSHA standards or the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

 

The updated recommendations identify risk factors and describe feasible solutions. Although not exhaustive, these workplace violence guidelines include policy recommendations and practical corrective methods to help prevent and mitigate the effects of workplace violence in late-night retail establishments.

 

Within these guidelines, OSHA strongly recommends training for all employees at all levels, including supervisors and managers. The document states that all employees should understand the concept of “universal precautions for violence,” which refers to the concept that violence should be expected but can be avoided or mitigated through proper precautionary preparation. Workers need to know the specific hazards associated with their jobs and worksite to help them minimize their risk of assault and injury. OSHA further states that training should include information on potential worksite-specific hazards and instructions on how to control those hazards. Training should also include guidance to limit workers from intervening in workplace altercations whenever possible unless enough staff or emergency response teams and security personnel are available.

 

To access these updated guidelines, visit OSHA's website.

 

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