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OSHA considers health care workplace violence standard, requests comments


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is considering whether to develop a new standard to prevent workplace violence in health care and social-assistance settings. The agency has issued a public Request for Information on the extent and nature of workplace violence in the industry and the effectiveness and feasibility of methods used to prevent such violence.

Information about the rule, including how to submit formal comment is available at wsna.to/FederalRegister-WorkplaceViolence. Comments must be submitted by April 6, 2017.

There has been increasing attention to the issue of workplace violence against healthcare workers. A recent Government Accountability Office report found that the rate of workplace violence against employees providing health care and social assistance services is substantially higher than in private industry as a whole. The report from GAO included a recommendation that OSHA assess the need for rulemaking to address this hazard. Read the report at gao.gov/assets/680/675858.pdf. 

AFT Nurses and Healthcare Professionals, with whom WSNA is affiliated, has made reduction of workplace violence against healthcare workers a priority issue. AFT stated: “Healthcare workers need the protection afforded by an OSHA regulation on workplace violence prevention which would guide the development of comprehensive and effective prevention programs in healthcare settings, and provide a more concrete measure by which facilities would be held accountable.” 

See more on this topic at aft.org/healthcare/workplace-violence.