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House Bill Leads Way to National Policy Protecting Health Care Workers from Workplace Violence

The House of Representative Education and Labor Committee has approved the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Act, H.R. 1195, in a 27-20 vote.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and is co-sponsored in the House by six Republicans and 139 Democrats.

Go here to learn more about H.R. 1195 and to track its progress through Congress:

If enacted into law, H.R. 1195 would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a standard requiring employers in the health care and social services sectors to develop and implement workplace violence prevention plans to protect nurses, physicians, social workers, emergency responders and others from acts of workplace violence.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in health care and social services professions are five times more likely to suffer a serious injury related to workplace violence than do workers in other sectors.

Representative Courtney has stated workplace violence against health care and social services professionals impacts them physically and also affects their “sense of safety at work, contributes to burnout, turnover, high workers’ compensation costs and stress.”

Certain jurisdictions, such as California, have enacted state laws to protect nurses and other health care professionals from workplace violence. California's Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care standard went into effect on April 1, 2017.

If passed by Congress, H.R. 1195 would lead the way to a national standard protecting health care workers across the country.


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