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RELEASE: Rep. Khanna Introduces Bill Requiring Health Care Employers to Implement Workplace Violence Prevention Plans

March 8, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, in response to increasing workplace violence in health care facilities across the nation, Rep. Ro Khanna introduced the Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis, 52 percent of all incidents of workplace violence in 2014 involved workers in the health care and social assistance industry. Additionally, from January 2012 to September 2014, more than 100 U.S. health care facilities reported nearly 11,000 OSHA-recordable injuries from workplace violence.

In 2014, California enacted a trailblazing law to reduce workplace violence incidents in health care facilities. This statute directed Cal/OSHA to create a workplace violence standard that went into effect in 2017. By April 1, 2018, all covered California health care employers will have created and issued specific plans to prevent workplace violence and ensure the safety of patients and workers.

Based on this standard, the Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act would direct the Secretary of Labor to issue an OSHA rule that requires health care employers to adopt a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan. The violence prevention plan must be developed with input from all affected parties including, but not limited to, doctors, nurses, and custodial staff. The bill allows for one year for promulgation of the rule and another six months for health care facilities to create and implement their violence prevention plans.

“Health care workers, doctors, and nurses are continuously at risk of workplace violence incidents – strangling, punching, kicking and other physical attacks – that can cause severe injury or death. This is simply unacceptable,” said Rep. Khanna. “The Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act puts a comprehensive plan in place and is a national solution to this widespread problem modeled after the success seen in California.”

This legislation is supported by National Nurses United.

“National Nurses United applauds Congressman Khanna for his important leadership in introducing the Heath Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act. If passed, this legislation would have a dramatic impact on the lives of nurses, healthcare workers, and patients across the country,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN, Executive Director of National Nurses United. "Nurses and other healthcare workers regularly suffer violent incidents while caring for patients at the bedside. We know that the frequency and severity of these violent aattacks can be drastically reduced through workplace violence prevention plans that are specific to the needs of each facility and are created with input from nurses and other workers. We urge every Member of Congress to support this bill."

Original cosponsors: Rep. Robert Brady (PA-1), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-06), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13).

Read the bill online here.

About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.

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Khanna Press Office: 202-225-2631