In 2014, health care and social assistance workers suffered injuries from workplace violence at a rate more than four times higher than that of private sector employees. What can be done to keep health care workers safe on the job?
As we report in an April news article, National Nurses United, AFL–CIO, and other unions have petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a federal standard for preventing health care workplace violence. OSHA issued a request in December for information on the subject, and held a public hearing in January in which health care workers spoke about their experiences of workplace violence and their ideas for improving safety and protection policies. Through early April, the agency collected comments from the public on a federal standard—but uncertainty surrounds its direction under the Trump administration.
Nine states have enacted measures against workplace violence in health care settings. The toughest of these is California’s Workplace Violence Prevention Health Care standard, which was enacted last year. It requires health care facilities to implement a comprehensive program with multiple components for addressing workplace violence.
See more news stories from our April issue, which are free to access through April 21:
- An Indian Health Service program reduced the incidence of diabetes-related kidney failure among Native Americans by more than half.
- Long-term regular use of NSAIDs and acetaminophen linked to hearing loss in women.
- New guidelines for peanut allergy prevention in children, with a focus on introducing peanut-containing foods during infancy.
- Some professional organizations object to new FDA warning against use of general anesthesia and sedation drugs in young children and pregnant women.