facebook linkedin twitter

Baldwin Pushes to Reduce Workplace Violence for Health Care and Social Service Workers

May 11, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
Baldwin Pushes to Reduce Workplace Violence for Health Care and Social Service Workers

WASHINGTON — Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., attended a press conference on Wednesday where she spoke about the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, which she introduced in the U.S. Senate on May 11. 

“[Health care workers] have seen a spike in senseless violence against them,” Baldwin said, during the press conference held by National Nurses United.

A recent survey of 2,500 hospital nurses from National Nurses United shows that nearly half of RNs reported an increase in workplace violence; up nearly 57% from September 2021 and 119% from March 2021. 

Even before the pandemic, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that rates of violence against health care workers are up to 12 times higher than rates for the overall workforce.


The House previously passed a version of the bill known as HR. 1195 on April 16, 2021. The bill was taken up twice by the House in 2019 and 2021.

“We are now taking a big step forward by introducing companion legislation in the Senate today,” said Baldwin. 

According to Baldwin, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act would ensure that health care and social services workplaces adopt proven prevention techniques, and are prepared to respond in the event of a violent incident.

Baldwin said the legislation, which was introduced during National Nurses week, currently has 26 co-sponsors.

The legislation will require employers in the health care social service sectors to develop and implement a workplace violence prevention plan tailored to specific workplaces and worker populations.

Employers would be required to work with employees to identify hazards, develop systems for reporting threats of violence and injuries, provide training for workers and management and protect workers from retaliation for reporting violent workplace incidents.


Prevention strategies would include installing alarm devices, lighting security and surveillance and monitoring systems in health care and social services workplaces to reduce the risk of a violent assault and injuries.

A study by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that 50% of all victims of workplace violence are health care workers, and that violence is underreported by hospital employers. 

Various scientific studies have also found that OSHA guidelines significantly reduce the incidence of workplace violence.

“But these recommendations are not enforceable without a federal standard,” said Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., during the press conference. 

Courtney said there are few states which have adopted and enforce workplace violence policies and are currently ensuring that those policies are implemented by employers. 

California is one of the states that has implemented its own protections for health care workers. 

Valencia Davis, a health care worker for 38 years in Riverside, California, recalled two violent work experiences during the press conference, one in which a patient locked her in a room and grabbed her aggressively. 

“I was so afraid, and I couldn’t get away so I started yelling, crying,” said Davis. 


“These incidents occurred before 2019, when my state of California enacted our own workplace violence standard, and had a workplace violence standard already been in place my employer might have been prepared. Now they are required to make a plan that includes frontline caregivers’ input, and every health caregiver and America deserves the same opportunity,” continued Davis. 

Alexa can be reached at [email protected].

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Health

Theories Emerge for Mysterious Liver Illnesses in Children

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials remain perplexed by mysterious cases of severe liver damage in hundreds of young children... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials remain perplexed by mysterious cases of severe liver damage in hundreds of young children around the world. The best available evidence points to a fairly common stomach bug that isn't known to cause liver problems in otherwise healthy kids. That... Read More

May 18, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
CalAIM Launches Program to Reform Housing and Health Care Coverage in California  

A new program launched this year out of California called CalAIM helps high-risk and low-income Medi-Cal residents find affordable housing... Read More

A new program launched this year out of California called CalAIM helps high-risk and low-income Medi-Cal residents find affordable housing through their health insurance plans. The CalAIM program is intended to improve health outcomes of Medi-Cal enrollees, specifically those with behavioral health needs, seniors, people living... Read More

May 18, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
Smart Pacifier Provides Non-Invasive Way to Monitor Babies’ Electrolytes in Hospitals

Researchers from Washington State University released a study on Monday regarding their development of a smart pacifier that can be used to... Read More

Researchers from Washington State University released a study on Monday regarding their development of a smart pacifier that can be used to monitor infant health in hospitals. The wireless, bioelectronic pacifier will eliminate the need for invasive, twice-daily blood draws to monitor babies’ electrolytes in newborn intensive care... Read More

May 18, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
WHO and UNICEF Release Report on Role of Assistive Technologies 

The World Health Organization and UNICEF released a report on Monday that finds more than 2.5 billion people need one or more... Read More

The World Health Organization and UNICEF released a report on Monday that finds more than 2.5 billion people need one or more assistive products, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids or apps that support communication and cognition.  Despite the need, nearly 1 billion are denied access to such technologies,... Read More

May 18, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
House Committee Advances Legislation for Medication Access and Training for Opioid Addiction 

During a mark-up session on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to advance provisions of the Medication Access and Training... Read More

During a mark-up session on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to advance provisions of the Medication Access and Training Expansion Act, known as the MATE Act. The legislation is designed to ensure controlled medication prescribers have a baseline knowledge of how to treat patients suffering with... Read More

May 18, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
FDA Approves First At-Home Test for Detecting COVID, Flu and RSV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first at-home test that can identify and differentiate multiple respiratory viruses at... Read More

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first at-home test that can identify and differentiate multiple respiratory viruses at the same time, detecting influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  “While the FDA has now authorized many COVID-19... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top