Worker safety is an increasing issue with the change in the structure of our society. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (2004, p. 6) states, "Health care and social service workers face an increased risk of work-related assaults." This can include "violence by strangers, customers or clients, coworkers, and personal relations (Kolupski, 2016a). Social worker 's safety is a concern in the facility and out in the field. In an effort to prevent violence in the workplace, there are steps organizations must take to ensure the safety of all involved. Being able to recognize dangerous situations to include client signals, environmental signs, and internal signals, are important to continue to provide inclusive services to families and have a safe working environment. In designing a system to ensure the safety of social workers, it is important to create an awareness of possible violence, develop protocols to assess the safety in the office and in the field, assess the client for potential violence, and report incidents with appropriate corrective action (Kolupski, 2016b).
Awareness of Potential Violence
According to the National Association of Social Workers (2013, p. 5), the number and variety of people and the setting in which services are provided, increases the risk for social workers that often have to provide these services in places that are unsafe to the worker. Social workers have to be vigilant in assessing their surroundings and interactions that can lead to violence. There are several ways to increase your staff 's awareness of safety. All service agencies have staff meetings, this is a great time to review safety protocols and provide the opportunity for staff to ask questions ...
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...ve an obligation to ensure the continuity of service to clients who are uncooperative who may be hostile because it can be a symptom of a disorder. Therefore, we as social workers must be prepared by ensuring we are following safety protocols. This includes being aware of the potential for violence, being prepared in the office and when in the field, by being cognizant of your surroundings, having a working knowledge of your clients background, being able to interpret your clients affect, reporting any incidents of violence immediately, and following all corrective action plans. As stated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (2004, p. 8), "The goal is to eliminate or reduce worker exposure to conditions that lead to death or injury from violence by implementing effective security devices and administrative work practices, among other control measures."
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