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PRODUCED BY AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY January 2018 | Archived Issues

State-Mandated Workplace Violence Training to Begin

Under revised rules from the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), all Cedars-Sinai employees will be required to have completed workplace violence training by April 1.

Cedars-Sinai’s Environmental Health and Safety division is finalizing the learning modules, and all employees should be receiving notifications regarding the training soon.

"Assuring that our employees are safe and well trained is one of the highest priorities here at Cedars-Sinai," said Andy Ortiz, senior vice president of Human Resources and Organization Development and Learning. "Meeting this Cal/OSHA mandate presents us with an opportunity to create a high-caliber program that meets that goal."

There will be four tiers of training, based on the amount of direct patient care contact an employee has:

  • All employees will be required to take a two-hour online course via Healthstream.
  • Employees in Imaging, Admissions, Food & Nutrition, Environmental Services and other low-risk occupations will receive an additional two-hour Healthstream training module.
  • Staff delivering bedside care, including RNs, CPs and LVNs, will be required to take a two-hour classroom training on non-violent crisis intervention and a prevention skills lab.
  • Higher-risk staff, including security officers, Emergency Department employees and mental health workers, will be required to take an additional full-day classroom session.

Department managers will notify their teams when the training sessions are ready. Sign-up for all sessions will be done via Healthstream.

"It’s vitally important that our employees sigh up promptly for the classes we have developed," said Donna Earley, director of Environmental Health and Safety. "Not only will they be better prepared in the unlikely event of a workplace incident, but we are required to have the entire workforce trained by April 1."

Andrea Ravard, a radiation physicist in the Environmental Health and Safety Division who designed the training program, said the training will cover four broad workplace violence categories: those involving an intimate partner, criminal behavior, interactions with patients and visitors and "lateral violence," or intra-staff conflict.

"A number of people have come through the Skills Lab," Ravard said, "RNs, CPs, ED staff, security and behavioral health, and they’re overall feeling is that they are grateful we have taken this approach to teach skills that make them more confident as caregivers."

The state has defined workplace violence to cover any threat or act of violence that occurs at a worksite, including a threat or act that has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, psychological trauma or stress, regardless of whether an employee sustains an injury.

Once in place, the workplace violence training will become an annual requirement for most staff members. For further information on the program, email GroupWPVPreventionTeam@cshs.org.