Tue, August 7th, 2012 - 3:14 pm - By Gordon Basichis
1 Comment »
The City of Buffalo is struggling to comply with the Department of Labor Standards concerning workplace violence. It should be noted Buffalo is not the only city trying to come into compliance with guidelines that will help prevent violence in the workplace. As workplace violence is a growing concern, what with liability issues, terrible press and the horror of dealing with a violent situation, small wonder the Department of Labor is encouraging cities as well as private employers to implement better methods of prevention.
According to an article in the Buffalo News….”n a six-part citation, the department’s Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau finds that the city did not:
* Have a policy on workplace violence prevention, including a plan for employee training.
* Examine past incidents of workplace violence to see if there were patterns.
* Examine existing policies and the physical workplaces to see if they contribute to the risk of violent incidents and have a plan for how hazards will be addressed.
The state imposed a series of deadlines from May through August for the city to be in compliance with the law. So far, the city has met them and has not been fined, said Human Resources Commissioner Patricia P. Folts, who was appointed last September, succeeding Karla L. Thomas.
“It would be serious if they weren’t trying to comply with the law, but they are,” said Michael F. Drennen, who represents about 445 clerical and professional city employees as president of Local 650, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
As part of the state’s directive, the city is surveying employees, asking them where they think they could be at risk on the job.
Drennen noted that City Hall lacks metal detectors and security personnel, with few exceptions, and that many city employees deal with the public and other employees in what can be tense situations, with few, if any, safeguards for employees.”