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California Senate committee passes bill to protect health care workers from violence


Photo: viktor levi/iStock/Thinkstock

Sacramento, CA – Days after two nurses were stabbed at two separate Los Angeles-area hospitals, a California Senate committee has passed a bill intended to better protect hospital and health care workers from work-related violence.

Senate Bill 1299 passed out of the state’s Senate Labor Committee on April 24 and is scheduled to be taken up by the Senate Health Committee on April 30. The bill would require hospitals to establish workplace violence prevention plans, which would include evaluating risk of violence and implementing improved security systems to protect workers.

On the morning of April 21, two nurses were stabbed in unrelated incidents within hours of each other. One of the attacks occurred at a hospital in the district of state Sen. Alex Padilla (D), who introduced the bill in February.

“We must do a better job of protecting health care workers from violence, and make California’s hospitals as safe as possible,” Padilla said in a press release issued shortly after the attacks.

Health care workers are more likely to be victims of assault than the average worker, and California hospital security is insufficient, according to the release, which cited Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a 2007 report.