Since being introduced in the House on Nov. 16, The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309) has picked up an additional 16 co-sponsors for a total of 42, according to an article on the Safety and Health Magazine website.
The bill calls for OSHA to issue a standard requiring employers in the healthcare and social services industries to develop and implement workplace violence prevention plans to protect employees such as nurses, physicians, social workers, emergency responders and other caregivers.
The rate of violence against healthcare workers is up to 12 times higher than those of the overall workforce, according to a 2016 Government Accountability Office study.
“Under this bill, the facility I worked in would be required by OSHA to develop a violence prevention program,” said Patricia Moon-Updike, a nurse from Cudahy, Wis., who was attacked by a patient. “This is crucial because there currently is no oversight by OSHA or any state agency.”