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California approves regs aimed at preventing workplace violence in health care

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Photo: Steve Debenport/iStockphoto

Sacramento, CA – Regulations intended to protect California’s health care workers from workplace violence have been unanimously approved by the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.

The regulations, which characterize workplace violence as acts of violence or threats, require applicable employers to develop and implement a prevention plan that includes training, worker involvement, and procedures for assessing risk factors and fixing hazards.

The California Nurses Association and National Nurses United – which was co-founded by CNA – sponsored the legislation, which is scheduled to go into effect in January.

“This is a landmark day for the entire country, as California has now set the bar with the strongest workplace violence regulation in the nation,” Bonnie Castillo, director of health and safety for CNA and NNU, said in a press release.

NNU is one of several labor unions that have petitioned OSHA to implement a standard to prevent workplace violence in health care.

Workers in health care and social assistance were involved in 52 percent of workplace violence incidents in 2014, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and rates of workplace violence incidents increased 110 percent in private industry hospitals between 2005 and 2014.

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