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."
“Workplace violence against health care and social service workers continues to affect those who dedicate their lives to caring for others,” said Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. “This bill helps address this growing problem by requiring the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to set an enforceable standard that will protect workers from preventable acts of workplace violence. I am grateful to Rep. Courtney for his leadership on this bill and will work to give this legislation the urgent attention that it deserves.”
The Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care and Social Services Act is endorsed by American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, American Federation of Government Employees, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Nurses United, United Steelworkers, and Public Citizen.
Original cosponsors of the bill introduced today are Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Ranking Member of the House Education and Worforce Committee; Mark Takano, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections; Suzanne Bonamici; Robert A. Brady; Rosa DeLauro; Eleanor Holmes Norton; Sheila Jackson Lee; Ro Khanna; Jan Schakowsky; Frederica Wilson; Carol Shea-Porter; Albio Sires; Mark DeSaulnier; John B. Larson; Donald Payne Jr.; Jim Himes; Mark Pocan; David N. Cicilline; Adriano Espaillat and Donald Norcross.