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For Immediate Release
June 10, 2002
Contact Information:
Kevin Weeks, 503-947-7428 
Toll free within Oregon: 800-922-2689

Workplace Violence Prevention Is As Close As Your Computer

Violence in the workplace has become a national crisis, accounting for 18 percent of all violent crime across the United States during the 1990's. But solutions for your worksite can be reached with the help of an Internet-based prevention course developed by Oregon OSHA.

"Developing a Violence Prevention Program" (OR-OSHA 120) is a seven-module course completed from your computer, on your time schedule through the Oregon OSHA website, www.orosha.org under the heading "Education"- the interactive program allows for instructor feedback and performance critiques.

The online course helps identify the major causes of workplace violence, which include work performance stress or fear, substance abuse problems, financial debt problems external to the workplace, and family or relationship problems. The needs of a changing marketplace or a slowing economy can also create a number of anxiety-based workplace violence "triggers."

The course also demonstrates an effective workplace violence prevention plan, which should include the following steps:

Form a safety committee to develop a program which includes a cross section of employees and a written plan on how the business will protect workers and customers.

Conduct a risk assessment: Find out where employees may be most vulnerable.

Develop effective written policies for pre-employment screening, terminations and layoffs, and rules for acceptable behavior.

Develop a training program so every person at the workplace is ready to respond.

Create a crisis response plan, including communications, threat management and incident response.

Test out and evaluate your plan to determine how to improve your response. Make sure your test does not endanger workers, and is not "too realistic."

For additional information about the online "Developing a Violence Prevention Program" course or to register, contact Oregon OSHA's Education unit at (503) 947-7443.

Oregon OSHA offers a variety of conferences, on-site training, educational resources and consultation services to help Oregon employers create safer workplaces and reduce the amount of productivity lost due to injuries which occur at work. Additional information and resources are available on Oregon OSHA's website, www.orosha.org

(Source for first paragraph statistics: U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999 study NCJ-190076)