Nurses: OSHA Address Workplace Violence in Healthcare
National Nurses United demand OSHA to take action on National Standard against Workplace Violence in Healthcare
To start off 2017, outgoing Assistant Secretary of Labor, David Michaels, granted National Nurses United (NNU) their petition for a standard for protection against workplace violence in healthcare settings. The NNU represents the nation’s largest union of registered nurses and just have begun to capitalize on their victory in California; at the end of last year California adopted legislation that requires employers to develop comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans for all healthcare and social assistance settings. The NNU is hoping to extend these workplace protections on a national level and their audience with the Department of Labor is the first step in securing it.
Victory in California builds momentum
The California Healthcare Workplace Violence Prevention Act’s life began in 2014; the language of the bill intentionally defined workplace violence in a broad manner to encompass not just actual acts of violence against healthcare workers but also threats of violence made against them. The Healthcare Workplace Violence Prevention Act also included provisions for employers to create workplace violence prevention plans which emphasized prevention, training, and worker participation.
Although the law was recently passed (late 2016) in California, workplace violence against healthcare and social assistance workers has been on the rises nationwide; it is the NNU’s advocacy that has now put the issue at the forefront and garnered the praise of the Assistant Secretary getting it on the OSHA regulatory agenda for 2017. Though only in its pre-rule stage, you can expect this one to continue to gain support in this growing job sector.