By Adam R. YoungMelissa A. Ortega, Daniel R. Birnbaum, Mark A. Lies, James L. Curtis, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: In the wake of increased employee mental health concerns and mass shootings across the country, employers looking to create or enhance a workplace violence program can look to the National Safety Council (NSC), which released a series of teaching materials on workplace violence.

With record numbers of mass shootings to begin the year in 2023, as well as an increase in employee mental health concerns, employers must focus on the hazards of workplace violence and protecting their employees. While federal OSHA currently issues citations related to workplace violence under its General Duty Clause, it is developing a workplace violence standard. Employers without workplace violence programs would be wise to develop a program, train employees, and implement appropriate safety controls.

Workplace Violence Toolkit

To aid those efforts, NSC offers a range of new resources. The NSC explains that “workplace violence can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide and is one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. Stress, increased workloads, financial problems, firing, partner violence or disciplinary actions all can be triggers for workplace violence – or there may be no easily identifiable prompt.”

The following resources are available to help employers know what to look for:

•           Implementation Guide to Addressing Workplace Violence
•           5-Minute Safety Talk
•           Poster:  Active Shooter
•           Quiz
•           Tip Sheet
•           Poster: Prevent Workplace Violence
•           Checklist
•           Webinar
•           Fact Sheet

While the NSC is a highly respected safety organization, NSC’s recommendations may need to be tailored to the industry and specific worksite, especially in California where there is a workplace violence in healthcare standard. Employers should consult with legal counsel before implementing the NSC’s recommendations to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, state cannabis laws, and other federal and state rules.

These resources are also available on the topic.

For more information on this or any related topic please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA/MSHA) or Workplace Policies and Handbooks Teams.