Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Research Square


1-13 pp.



Healthcare workers are at a high risk of experiencing workplace violence and associated injuries, and the presence of weapons in a healthcare setting increases the potential severity of injuries and consequences of violence. The specific aim of this study was to determine which organizational factors were associated with frequent weapons confiscation in a healthcare facility and to identify potential effective interventions. This study investigated the hypothesis that hospital-related factors impact the frequency of weapons confiscation.


A cross-sectional survey was administered on-line to hospital security directors and assessed the associations of organizational factors with the frequency of weapons confiscation.


It was found that hospitals with metal detectors were more than 5 times as likely to frequently confiscate weapons, suggesting this intervention is effective. It was also found that hospitals with psychiatric units were more likely to have frequent confiscation of weapons, likely due to the standard procedure of searching patients before admission to the psychiatric unit. Several factors thought to be potentially related, such as perception of risk and state violent crime rates, were not associated with weapons confiscation risk.


This data suggests that searching patients and using metal detectors are important tools in the prevention of weapons entering a healthcare setting. This reduction would likely enhance safety and reduce injury from workplace violence.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This is a preprint, a preliminary version of a manuscript that has not completed peer review at a journal. Research Square does not conduct peer review prior to posting preprints. The posting of a preprint on this server should not be interpreted as an endorsement of its validity or suitability for dissemination as established information or for guiding clinical practice.

Original Publication Citation

Blando, J., Paul, C., & Szklo-Coxe, M. (2020). Risk factors for workplace encounters with weapons by hospital employees [Article in Press. Research Square, 13 pp.