Schrader Champions Bipartisan Bill to Curb Workplace Violence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 16, 2021
Contact: Molly Prescott, 202-657-2676
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1195, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act.
This legislation, which also passed last Congress with bipartisan support, would direct the Department of Labor to protect health care and social service workers, who encounter far-higher rates of workplace violence than in other professions.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), nearly three-quarters of workplace assaults reported annually occur in healthcare and social service settings, with violence against workers especially high in hospital emergency departments, inpatient psychiatric facilities and against EMS practitioners. This violence can occur anywhere from the back of an ambulance, to homes and communities.
“The startling amount of violence against health care and social service workers is terrible, and the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating this prevalent problem even further, as we witness rising violence against these workers amid the public health crisis,” Rep. Schrader said. “These workers are already at a greater risk of contracting the virus as they fight on the frontlines to save lives, and we owe it to them to ensure they are not subjected to workplace violence as well.”
The bipartisan bill seeks to reduce the violence, by instructing OSHA to issue a standard to protect this workforce from predictable violence on the job, requiring health care employers to have a plan in place to prevent violence from happening and respond when it does. These health care settings must also keep records of attacks against staff in line with OSHA’s minimum requirements on workplace violence, which allows reporting to law enforcement. Currently health care settings are exempt from these provisions and health care workers who are assaulted in the workplace have no recourse and are often required to continue working with the assaulter or adjacent to them.
“Over the years, I have heard from far too many doctors, nurses, EMTs, nursing home workers, and more about the violence they face while they are simply trying to do their job to keep people safe and healthy,” added Schrader. “The time is long-overdue to show these vital workers the same respect. We must do everything we can to protect them, just as they do for us each and every day.”
Tags: Health Care