Workplace violence Health care/social assistance

Cal/OSHA proposes rule to address workplace violence in health care

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Photo: Steve Debenport/iStockphoto

Sacramento, CA – The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has proposed a new regulation that aims to protect health care industry employees from workplace violence.

A year ago, state legislation directed the board to adopt standards requiring health care industry employers to implement workplace violence prevention plans as part of an Injury and Illness Prevention Plan. Specifically, employers’ plans would have to include a means to identify risk factors, procedures to correct workplace violence hazards, and procedures for post-incident response and investigation. Employees would have to be involved in the development, implementation and review of the plan.

Injuries stemming from workplace violence in the health and social assistance sector occur at a rate 3 times greater than overall private industry, the board said in a statement accompanying the proposed regulation.

Nursing organizations applauded the proposal. The California Nurses Association issued a press release stating that the rule can serve as a national model to protect health care workers.

Written comments on the proposal are due Dec. 17, the same day the board will host a public hearing in Sacramento on the proposed rule.