Experts’ consensus of OSHA’s guidelines for workplace violence prevention program effectiveness
by Javier Berezdivin
From Amazon.com: The purpose of this research was to investigate if a panel of workplace violence (WPV) experts were of the same opinion that the five recommended OSHA guidelines were effective elements to use in a WPV-prevention program. Second, the researcher sought to develop a comprehensive list of elements for an effective WPV program and to explore the experts’ opinions as to the ranked importance and feasibility of the identified elements. Finally, the study compared the list of elements developed from this study with the five OSHA guidelines.
A two-round online Delphi instrument was used to survey a panel of 27 experts in the field of WPV prevention. The experts invited to participate were chosen as a result of their professional experience, publications, conference presentations, and personal recommendations. The first round yielded general opinions as to how experts defined WPV program effectiveness, how they measured a program’s effectiveness, and their opinion on the effectiveness of the current five OSHA guidelines for WPV-prevention in both retail sales establishments and healthcare settings. The responses generated in the first round helped in the construction of the second round by providing a list of elements used in WPV prevention programs. The second round asked experts to rate 76 elements in seven distinct categories of violence-prevention strategies on a 5-point Likert scale. The results provided substantial consensus for the effectiveness of the five OSHA guidelines and generated a comprehensive list of 76 elements to be considered when establishing an effective WPV program. Experts expressed strong agreement on the importance of 75 of the elements and expressed a weak level of agreement on the importance of only one element, peer-support programs.
Regarding the feasibility of the elements, experts expressed a weak level of agreement on only two elements, outplacement services for terminated employees and the training of other individuals outside an organization, (such as clients, patients, and/or customers). It is recommended that empirically-driven research be conducted on an ongoing basis in a wide variety of industry sectors to lend further support for the effectiveness of each of these elements.