Too many nurses have experienced violence at work. It happens in hospitals every day and the attacks can come from patients, family or other visitors.
In September 2018, several WSNA nurses in the Tri-Cities were attacked by a patient in the ER, suffering cuts, bruises, and back injuries. A week later, at the same hospital, another WSNA nurse was choked by a patient who wrapped his hands around her neck and squeezed. And WSNA Member and former State Representative Tami Green was punched in the eye by a patient last fall.
This kind of violence is preventable.
In 2016, 70% of nonfatal workplace assaults occurred in the health care and social assistance sectors – nurses were often the targets. In fact, health care workers are nearly five times more likely to be assaulted than the rest of the American labor force.
And workplace violence is getting worse. In the last decade, rates of violence rose by 123% in hospitals and more than doubled in psychiatric or substance use treatment facilities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It won’t get better unless we do something. Nurses are fighting for safety measures and policies to make our hospitals safer for workers and patients.
Help us prevent workplace violence by passing HB 1931.
Components of the Workplace Violence Prevention Bill HB 1931
Adds more specificity into definition around physical force or verbal threat; adds use of firearms or other dangerous weapons.
Workplace Violence Prevention Plan
Clarifies that each facility must conduct a regular safety assessment and every three years publish a workplace violence prevention plan (with an annual review of incidents and needed adjustments to the plan based on those incidents); defines which committees within the facility that shall be responsible for creating and implementing the plan and requires those committees be comprised of 50% employer-selected members and 50% employee-selected members.
Workplace Violence Prevention Training
Clarifies that training on the workplace violence prevention training shall apply to all applicable employees, volunteers, and contracted security personnel as determined by the plan. Addresses elements that must be included in the training including de-escalation techniques and strategies to prevent physical harm with hands-on practice or role play; response processes and the debrief process for affected employees must also be included in the training.