• Secret Agents
  • May 17, 2004
  • Law Firm: McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC - New Orleans Office
  • A report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation suggests that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration should take the lead in making workplace violence prevention a priority. In the publication, entitled "Workplace Violence: Issues in Response," the FBI suggests that OSHA and other government agencies should promote public awareness of the issue, but should also take other steps, such as

    • developing systems for more complete and accurate monitoring of incidents;
    • designing and disseminating model policies and violence prevention plans;
    • giving special attention to developing strategies for smaller companies, and for lower-paid, lower-status workers, and
    • developing training programs for employers, supervisors, and employees.

    OSHA responded that it is the agency's intention "to assist, not replace, law enforcement in its preventive and response activities dealing with workplace violence." The agency has recently organized a task force on workplace violence made up of staff members from their offices and representatives of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, according to Pat Biles, OSHA's workplace violence coordinator. "We will look at the recommendations of the FBI monograph, many of which we are already doing, and determine what else we may be able to do," he said.

    The agency has focused on the workplace violence issue since the early 1990s, he said, and has developed guidelines and recommendations, conducted outreach and education, and worked to develop coalitions and alliances to further address the issue.