Workplace Safety Plan
An employer has a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace. Under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that "is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees."
Developing a Plan
One way to create a safe workplace is to develop a Workplace Safety Plan. Workplace safety plans should be developed in conjunction with the employee survivor and may include some or all of the following:
- Provide parking close to the employee entrance.
- Provide police/security in the parking lot at the end of the day or shift.
- Explore whether the domestic violence advocacy project can come to work to meet with the employee.
- Have a photo of the abuser at the front door or reception desk.
- Supply copies of any protection orders or bail conditions to security, supervisors or the front reception desk.
- Move the employee away from the front door, change their phone extension and work assignments, and remove identifiers from company directories.
How a Workplace Safety Plan Benefits Employers
Taking care of employees is the right thing to do. Worker absenteeism, tardiness, increased health care costs, higher turnover and lower productivity costs money.
There are also countless incidences where an abuser used company time, the company car, phones, faxes, emails and even coworkers to harass and stalk their victims. Accidents have occurred due to an abuser’s lack of focus on the job.
Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson was one of the first in Maine to enact a workplace domestic violence policy.
Her policy and others, as well as contacts and resources to help create your own, are linked below:
- Cumberland County District Attorney’s Domestic Violence in the Workplace Policy (PDF)
- Family Crisis Services Work Place Initiatives
- Impact of Domestic Offenders on Occupational Safety & Health: A Pilot Study (PDF)
- Domestic Violence in the Workplace: Resources for Supervisors, Managers, and Workplace Responders (PDF), presented by Maine Employers Against Domestic Violence
- Corporate Alliance to End Domestic Violence
- The Family Violence Prevention Fund