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House Approves Health Workplace Violence Prevention Legislation

Posted on Monday, December 16, 2019 1:17 PM

Last week the House of Representatives passed the Workplace Violence Prevention for Heath Care and Social Service Workers Act, H.R. 1309, the vote passed with a tally of 251 in favor and 158 opposed.

The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney mentioned the “disproportionate amount of violence at work” faced by health care and social service workers. Mr. Courtney focused the legislation on violence prevention measures, as well as strengthening reporting and corrective actions, and mandated annual education for employees.

“Notable within the legislation is a requirement that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the Department of Labor issue an interim final rule within year of the act becoming a law that would establish a workplace violence prevention standard. An interim final rule allows for implementation of that rule while the public comment period is open. Once the comment period closes the rule may be modified should the administration deem necessary in response to public comments. In the event that OSHA does not issue the interim final rule within the mandated year, the standard as described in the legislation would take effect.”

The bill requires employers to create a plan that identifies conditions and hazards for the covered facility or covered service through the identification of workplace violence risks to employees in their particular workplace, including environmental risk factors, risk factors specific to the patient population, and past violent incidents.

The legislation now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to face some opposition. 

Source: NAHC Report

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