Bill would require hospitals to create workplace violence prevention plan

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced legislation requiring healthcare and social service employers to implement a workplace violence prevention plan to avoid and reduce workplace violence among employees.

The legislation, announced May 11 during National Nurses Week, directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to require employers to write and implement their plan.

"Our nurses, doctors, social services workers and healthcare professionals deserve to work in a safe environment free from violence," Ms. Baldwin said in a news release. "Healthcare workers have faced unprecedented obstacles just to stay healthy and do their jobs through the pandemic, and on top of it all, they have seen senseless violence against them. It is unacceptable and we must provide basic protections and safety standards to a workforce that serves people during some of their most vulnerable times."

Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows healthcare workers accounted for 73 percent of all nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses due to violence in 2018.

The issue has also been highlighted throughout the pandemic. For example, a National Nurses United survey among 2,575 NNU union nurses and nonunion nurses across the U.S. indicated inadequate staffing, workplace violence and moral and mental distress are becoming prevalent challenges for nurses. 

The legislation introduced by Ms. Baldwin is supported by various labor unions, according to a one-page document about the bill.

However, the American Hospital Association opposed the House version of the bill, which passed in April 2021, saying in part that hospitals have already implemented policies and programs to address workplace violence.

Hospitals instead have asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to support legislation that would provide protections for healthcare workers similar to those the Justice Department backed for flight crews and airport workers. 

To read the full legislation, click here

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars