SafeCare BC’s Violence Prevention Policy Template
SafeCare BC’s new Violence Prevention Policy template will supplement existing policies of continuing care providers across the province and guide the establishment of new ones where none currently exists. The goal is to reduce the risk and rate of injury to continuing care workers, improve workplace safety and create a more positive working environment.
Continuing care workers interact closely with residents and their families, often under difficult circumstances. Residents may act aggressively due to their medical condition or medication they are taking. They may also have a history of violent behaviour or feel frustrated as a result of their circumstances. According to recent WorkSafeBC statistics, violence in the workplace accounted for 11 per cent of the sector’s injury claims in 2014, with a total cost of $16.5 million over the past five years.
SafeCare BC’s new policy template recognizes violence in the workplace as being the attempted or actual exercise by a person, other than a worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a worker and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that he or she is at risk of injury.
Roles and Responsibilities
The policy template provides a summary of the various roles and responsibilities of the various members of the continuing care team:
- Employers & Senior Leadership Team
- Supervisors and Managers
- Residents/Visiting Public
- Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees
Standards and Procedures
The policy template identifies a series of standards and procedures based on best practices to guide the implementation of violence prevention policies. These include:
- Promote workplace safety for all staff members, residents, and visitors.
- Include all levels of staff in the development of violence prevention policies and programs.
- Provide policies and access to educational tools to empower staff to identify potential situations of violence, de-escalate, or prevent violence, and appropriately respond to violence in the workplace.
- Ensure a violence risk assessment is conducted and procedures comply with the Workers Compensation Act, Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and collective agreements (if applicable).
Various techniques are included in the policy template that can identify and help prevent potentially violent situations. These include:
- general prevention strategies
- standard safety measures
- visual identifiers
- verbal de-escalation strategies
- dealing with behavioural situations
- reporting incidents of violence
- investigating incidences of violence
- working alone
- right to refuse unsafe work
Download a full copy of the policy template: