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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, OAHHS 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 various OAHHS member hospitals in Oregon. 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.

Workplace Violence Prevention Toolkit

This comprehesive toolkit, authored by Lynda Enos, RN, BSN, MS, COHN-S, CPE, will assist health care leadership and violence prevention committees and other stakeholders to:
  • 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.

DOWNLOAD FULL PDF (Narrative only)

The toolkit has been endorsed by:

WPV Individual Sections & Tools

Workplace Violence Prevention Sections  TOOLS
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.

WPV Reproduction and Use of Materials

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.

Safe Patient Handling Tools

Safe Patient Handling Additional Resources