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ASSP Supports Legislation to Prevent Workplace Violence in Healthcare

Apr 30, 2019
Momentum continues to build around legislation that would mandate OSHA to develop a standard that would require employers within the healthcare and social services industries to develop and implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention program.

ASSP recently submitted comments to the bill's primary sponsors in the House of Representatives, expressing its support for bipartisan congressional action on the issue. OSHA issued a request for information on workplace violence prevention in late 2016, but has taken no further public action despite workplace violence becoming an ever-more recognized hazard in the U.S.

"Barring any movement from the agency in this regard, it is appropriate for Congress — in its oversight role — to signal to OSHA that this is a priority rule making area, and for your committees to take the lead on helping to fill the gaps in protection for the many vulnerable workers in this high-risk area," ASSP said.  

2016 study by the Government Accountability Office reported that rates of violence against healthcare workers are up to 12 times higher than rates for the overall workforce, and 70% of nonfatal workplace assaults in 2016 occurred in the health care and social assistance sectors. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that healthcare and social service workers suffered 69 percent of all workplace violence injuries caused by persons in 2016 and are nearly five times as likely to suffer a workplace violence injury than workers overall.

The growing concerns over workplace violence and particularly their disproportionate affect on women workers was a topic during ASSP's Women's Workplace Safety Summit in October 2018, and it is addressed in our report, "Women and Safety in the Modern Workplace."

Read ASSP's executive summary

Read ASSP's statement

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