Cal-OSHA, Other Agencies Mull Stricter Hospital Worker Protections
On Thursday, the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health and other state agencies hosted a meeting to discuss proposals for new rules to prevent hospital violence, NBC4 News reports.
The efforts come after the shooting two weeks ago of a nurse at a mental health clinic at Los Angeles' Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.
Nearly 5,000 workplace violence cases were reported in health care facilities in California from 2010 to 2012, according to Cal-OSHA. The numbers could be higher as many such cases go unreported (Tokumatsu/Goff, NBC4 News, 2/5).
Details of Meeting
This week, Cal-OSHA, the California Labor Agency and the state Department of Industrial Relations hosted the Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association and Federal OSHA winter 2015 meeting in Oakland (DIR release, 2/3).
During the meeting, dozens of health care professionals testified about unsafe working conditions at hospitals across the state.
Workers argued that officials should implement new standards requiring hospitals to use:
- Armed security personnel;
- Metal detectors; and
- Surveillance cameras.
They said such standards could prevent visitors from bringing knives, guns or other weapons into health care facilities.
However, they acknowledged that such equipment can be costly for hospitals (NBC4 News, 2/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.