Google Screened

Preventing Workplace Violence in Health Care Facilities

Delaware Workers' Compensation Lawyers dsicuss risks of workplace violence that healthcare workers face. Health care workers face significant threats to their health and safety in their workplace. From exposure to diseases from needle sticks to experiencing back injuries from lifting heavy patients, hospital workers face dangerous conditions every day.

But, these workers are also confronted with workplace violence. They experience being strangled, punching, kicking, and other physical attacks at work. Fortunately, there has been progress in dealing with workplace violence in health care facilities.

Health Care Worker Injuries and Deaths

The Government Accountability Office found that the frequency of nonfatal workplace violence in health care facilities is five to 12 times higher than in any other group of workers.

The statistics regarding workplace deaths are just as alarming. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries found that between 2011 and 2016, at least 58 hospital workers died as a result of workplace violence.

States and the Federal government are now beginning to address the problem with legislation. California has a new requirement for health care employers to develop and institute plans to prevent workplace violence. In addition, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is now developing standards for workplace violence prevention.

Workplace Violence Prevention Planning

In March, the Health Care Workplace Prevention Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. It would require the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a standard for health care facilities. Similar to the Cal/OSHA requirement, under the proposed act, health care employers would have to develop and implement workplace violence prevention plans. The Act would define workplace violence broadly, to include acts of violence as well as threats of violence.

The emphasis is on prevention and, if that fails, quick response. Areas to be addressed include:

  • Environmental risk factor reduction
  • Patient specific risk factors
  • Staffing sufficiency
  • Security systems

Possible Interventions

A number of approaches have already been discussed. The Co-President of National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses in the country, has identified examples on how to improve conditions. These include:

  • Affixing furniture and lighting so they cannot be used as weapons
  • Maintaining clear lines of sight between workers when they are caring for patients
  • Providing easy access to panic buttons or phones to call for assistance

She also says nurses, doctors, and other health care workers, including security and custodial staff, need to be involved in developing and implementing the plans.

Delaware Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Injured Health Care Workers

Workplace violence is responsible for many preventable injuries. If you have been injured at work because of an incident of workplace violence or other preventable cause, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the experienced Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We will review your case at no charge to you and fight to make sure your claim is successful. Call 302-888-1221 today or complete our online contact form. From our offices in Wilmington and Philadelphia we represent injured workers in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.