The Occupational Safety and Health Administration should put in place a workplace violence prevention standard, National Nurses United (NNU) said in a petition.
The petition, announced July 11, dovetails with OSHA's stated goal to start work on a violence prevention standard for the health-care sector, announced in May (RIN:1218-AD08).
Among other things, the NNU said a rule should require employers to put violence prevention programs in place, in all units and work areas, as well as all facility grounds, including parking structures. Workers should be allowed to take part in creating and reviewing the plans, the NNU said.
The petition would also require employers to provide interactive training and post-incident response, including first aid, trauma counseling and injury investigations, and would forbid them from retaliating against workers who seek the help of law enforcement during an incident.
The NNU's petition would also call on OSHA to assess workplace violence risk factors, including staffing levels.
The petition covers general acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, home care, mental health treatment centers and other types of facilities—“everywhere health-care workers are at risk,” said Bonnie Castillo, safety and health director for the NNU.