Congress considers bill to protect nurses from workplace violence

House Democrats introduced a bill Nov. 16 to protect healthcare and social service employees from violence on the job.

The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act would require healthcare employers to create a workplace violence prevention plan to help curtail violence against employees. Healthcare workers face rates of violence on the job up to 12 times higher than other occupations, according to the GAO. If passed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would oversee the implementation of such prevention plans.

"We expect healthcare and social service employees to care for us in our times of need, but we know that each year, these men and women are faced with rising rates of violence, often from patients and their families," Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., one of the bill's cosponsors, said in a press release. "This legislation compels OSHA to do what employees, safety experts, and members of Congress have been calling for years — create an enforceable standard to ensure that employers are taking these risks seriously, and creating safe workplaces that their employees deserve."  

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