Massachusetts nurses urge lawmakers to address workplace violence: 4 things to know

The Massachusetts Nurses Association union is pushing a workplace violence bill that would add enhanced plans around workplace safety, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Here are four things to know about the proposed bill, according to the report.

1. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Michael Brady (D-Brockton), would require healthcare providers and unions to collaborate on a comprehensive workplace violence program.

2. The bill "doesn’t just call for training, it calls for [hospitals] to work with nurses and the union involved with the nurses together," David Schildmeier, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said in the report. "They have to work with us to come up with a plan, identify every risk and get a plan to fix the risks," he added.

3. The union's push for the bill comes months after a surgeon was shot by a patient's family member at Brigham and Women's Hospital. In another incident, the MNA said another nurse was also threatened with a knife by the family member of a patient. The incident was reported to the police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In a letter to OSHA, the hospital said the incident was handled according to a safety plan that was established, according to the report. OSHA administrators later said the case could be closed because the hazards were addressed. Mr. Schildmeier maintains that there are still safety issues, such as improper monitoring and a lack of panic buttons, while the hospital believes their safety programs "meet or exceed all applicable standards."

Mr. Schildmeier has brought up incidents at other Massachusetts hospitals as well.

4. The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development was scheduled to host a hearing at the State House July 21.

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