Cal-OSHA Proposes Regulations To Prevent Workplace Violence
In a statement, Cal-OSHA noted that workplace violence-related injuries occur three times more in the health and social assistance sectors than in the overall private sector (Safety+Health Magazine, 11/4).
Health care and social assistance workers are nearly five times more likely than average employees in other sectors to experience a nonfatal assault or violent act by another person, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For example, nearly 60% of nonfatal assaults and violence acts in 2007 occurred in the health care and social assistance sectors (California Nurses Association/National Nurses United release, 11/3).
Details of Regulations
The proposed regulations would implement a state bill (SB 1299) passed last year.
The regulations would cover workplace safety for workers in home health, home-based hospice, outpatient medical offices, paramedic and emergency medical services, and other health facilities (Safety+Health Magazine, 11/4).
The proposal would define workplace violence to include threats of violence (CNA/NNU release, 11/3).
Under the regulations, employers would be required to implement:
- Ways to identify risk factors;
- Investigation and response procedures; and
- Procedures for correcting violence hazards.
Employees also would have to be involved in the development, implementation and review of the workplace violence prevention plans (Safety+Health Magazine, 11/4). In addition, employers must provide violence-prevention training for all employees (CNA/NNU release, 11/3).
Cal-OSHA will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations on Dec. 17. Comments on the proposal are due by the hearing date (Safety+Health Magazine, 11/4).
In a release, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United -- which sponsored SB 1299 -- said it is "very pleased" with the proposal.
Deborah Burger, co-president of CNA/NNU, said, "The proposed regulations will serve as a national model, and we are very proud of the part we have played to bring them to fruition" (CNA/NNU release, 11/3).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.