Workplace Safety Initiative

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, two of the leading causes of health care worker injuries are manual patient lifting and workplace violence. Musculoskeletal disorder injuries are generally due to overexertion related to repeated manual patient handling activities, often involving heavy manual lifting associated with transferring and repositioning patients and working in extremely awkward postures. The consequences of work-related musculoskeletal injuries among health care workers are substantial both to the workers themselves and to employers. 

Meanwhile, health care and social assistance workers are nearly five times more likely to be injured and require time away from work as a result of workplace violence. Oregon’s hospitals are committed to a culture of safety and believe that no incidence of violence should be tolerated. 

To help address these issues, Hospital Association of Oregon convened the Workplace Safety Initiative (WSI) Work Group in 2014 to find ways to collaboratively work on solutions.  Work group members included representatives from SEIU Local 49, the Oregon Nurses Association, and representatives from several Oregon member hospitals. Lynda Enos, RN, BSN, MS, COHN-S, CPE, Ergonomics/Human Factors Consultant, HumanFit, LLC was the consultant working directly with the pilot hospitals, including writing the WPV toolkit and the SPH tools. 

The goals of the WSI project are to:

  • Identify and implement evidence-based programs to reduce injuries from patient handling and workplace violence and foster sustainable cultural change.
  • Strengthen relationships with partner organizations around health care worker and patient safety issues.
  • Disseminate lessons learned and tools developed to all hospitals in Oregon to assist implementation of sustainable effective workplace safety programs.
To reach these goals, the group developed a pilot project working with Oregon hospitals. Volunteer hospitals of varying sizes from across the state participated in the safe patient handling project or the Workplace Violence Prevention project. The work with these pilot hospitals directly informed the materials provided below.

This comprehensive toolkit, is in use at hospitals across Oregon and has been adapted and adopted by hospitals and health care organizations across the country.

  • Evaluate the workplace violence program and individual violence prevention practices at their facility or within their organization, against current best practices in violence prevention.
  • Identify and engage stakeholders and enhance the culture of worker and patient safety.
  • Develop or strengthen their workplace violence program and policy by identifying process that can be implemented to manage or control violence, and can address the risk of violence proactively.

NOTE: Version 2.0 of the Workplace Violence Prevention Toolkit was released in March 2020. See a comprehensive list of updates here
 The toolkit is in use at hospitals across Oregon and has been adapted and adopted by hospitals and health care organizations across the country.

Workplace Violence Prevention SectionsTools
Section 1: Understanding Workplace Safety
Section 2: Getting Started
Section 3: Hazard Identification and Assessment 
Section 4: Developing the WPV Program 
Section 5: Hazard Abatement 
Section 6: Education and Training 
Section 7: Implementing the WPV Program  
Section 8: Evaluating the WPV Program 
Section 9: Sustaining the WPV Program  
Section 10: Additional Resources 

For more information regarding the Workplace Safety Initiative, please contact Katie Harris at or 503-479-6027.

Internet Citation: Workplace Violence In Healthcare: A Toolkit For Prevention And Management. Content Last Reviewed March 2020.  Oregon Association Of Hospitals Research & Education Foundation, Lake Oswego, OR. 

Permission is granted to use such copyrighted material solely for non-commercial, instructional, personal, or scholarly purposes. The material may be used and incorporated into other workplace safety and health programs on the condition that no fee may be charged for the subsequent use or adaptation of the material. Use of the material for any other purpose, particularly commercial use, without the prior, express written permission of the copyright owner/s is prohibited.

For organization and entities that are not hospitals in Oregon, it is requested that you notify the Oregon Association of Hospitals Research and Education Foundation (email Katie Harris at prior to using the copyrighted materials.
Internet Citation: 
Workplace Violence in Health Care: A Toolkit for Prevention and Management. Content last reviewed March 2020. Oregon Association of Hospitals Research & Education Foundation, Lake Oswego, OR.

The latest resource document, updated Jan. 2024, is available here.