May 7, 2019
Bipartisan state Senate bill would require prevention plans, training
The Michigan Nurses Association today applauded the introduction of a bipartisan legislative plan to address the epidemic of workplace violence against nurses and other healthcare workers. The plan takes a proactive approach, focusing on prevention.
“Nurses and other healthcare workers are experiencing violence on the job far too often,” said Jamie Brown, RN, president of the Michigan Nurses Association. “Hospitals and other facilities should be required to take concrete steps to create a safe workplace. This kind of prevention plan will definitely help keep nurses and other healthcare workers safe from assaults at work.”
Violence against nurses and other health care workers occurs in all settings. Health care and social service workers suffered 69 percent of all workplace violence injuries in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; they were nearly five times more likely to experience workplace violence than the average US worker. Most violent incidents are committed by patients.
The new bipartisan legislation requires hospitals, public health departments and certain other healthcare settings to:
- create a workplace violence prevention plan with input from employees;
- train employees on policies, reporting violence, and de-escalation and other prevention techniques; and
- track workplace violence and report injuries from violence to law enforcement.
Workers who report violence against them would be protected from retaliation.
“No health care worker should have to put up with being hit, kicked, bitten or otherwise attacked,” said state Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), sponsor of the legislation. “It just makes sense to require employers to provide plans and training to deal with the serious and widespread problem of violence against healthcare workers. This bipartisan plan puts the focus where it belongs: on stopping violence before it happens.”