The healthcare sector in the United States is continuously being shaped by a variety of laws and regulations. The newly proposed legislation entitled Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Workers Act (S. 4182) mandates healthcare organizations have worker protection policies, including training for staff members in preventing violence (Congress, 2022). The bill was introduced to Congress during the 177th session (2021-2022) and is sponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin (Congress, 2022). If passed, the legislation will require Occupational Safety and Health Administration to employ workplace violence prevention standards on the federal level, including in the state of California. The legislation requires healthcare and social services organizations to develop a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan that considers specific conditions and hazards of the given operation (Congress, 2022). Furthermore, the persons responsible for the implementation of the scheme, as well as reporting, response, and incident investigation procedures, should be appointed in each organization (Congress, 2022). The legislation dictates that the plan and different response strategies, including responses to emergencies, threats, and mass casualties, be made known to the employed staff. The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Workers Act will meaningfully impact healthcare workers, including nurses. Workplace violence against nurses is a significant issue in healthcare that is often underreported due to the inherent belief that it is an unavoidable aspect of the profession (Somani et al., 2021). In particular, nurses are vulnerable to abuse from physicians, patients, and their relatives due to the frontline nature of their occupation (Somani et al., 2021). Therefore, implementing workplace violence standards and interventions mandated by the proposed legislation can decrease workplace violence against nurses in California and allow them to fulfill their duties effectively.
Congress. (2022). S.4182 – Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. Web.
Somani, R., Muntaner, C., Hillan, E., Velonis, A. J., & Smith, P. (2021). A systematic review: Effectiveness of interventions to de-escalate workplace violence against nurses in healthcare settings. Safety and Health at Work, 12(3), 289−295. Web.