Workplace Violence Prevention

OSHA Unveils New Webpage While Cal/OSHA Begins Rulemaking Process

To Prevent Workplace Violence in Healthcare Settings

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Federal OSHA unveils a new webpage which includes strategies and tools to help prevent workplace violence in healthcare settings. The new website complements previously published and updated guidelines (see OSHA’s Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers) and includes real-life examples of successful violence prevention programs. New strategies include management commitment; worker participation; worksite analysis; hazard identification, prevention, and control; safety and health training; record keeping; and program evaluation.

According to the article, healthcare incidents of serious workplace violence account for nearly as many serious violent injuries as all other industries combined – and most of these injuries are preventable. In an effort to combat these incidents, raise awareness, and help employers provide safe and healthful workplaces for their employees, OSHA’s webpage provides hospital administrators with information on risk factors, costs and actions to manage the problem.

Meanwhile, here in California, we (SEIU Nurse Alliance of  California and SEIU 121RN) are beginning the formal Rulemaking process with Cal/OSHA to create a comprehensive workplace violence prevention regulation covering all workers in the California healthcare industry (see post: Violence & Intimidation is not Part of the Job).

Mark Catlin, Health and Safety Director for SEIU IU, has been instrumental in helping SEIU Nurse Alliance of California and SEIU 121RN create language for the written standards.

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Violence & Intimidation is not Part of the Job!

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Violence & intimidation is NOT part of the job!

YOU can make a BIG DIFFERENCE for California healthcare workers and patients by sending in your story or joining us in Sacramento on Dec. 17!

Location: State Resources Building Auditorium
Address: 1416 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Press Conference: Starts at 9:00 am.
Cal/OSHA Meeting: Starts at 10:00 am.

Healthcare workers experience violence on the job at staggering levels compared to workers in other industries. In fact, along with social service workers, they make up more than 70 percent of violent assaults in the workplace, according to the most recent BLS statistics.

SEIU Local 121RN and the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California launched the California Safe Care Standard campaign in 2012 to petition Cal/OSHA to create and implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention regulation covering all workers in the California healthcare industry. Cal/OSHA, the government agency in California charged with protecting workers from health and safety hazards on the job, is accepting public comments on the official regulation language through Dec. 17.

We encourage you to share any incidents of workplace violence or threats of violence that you either experienced or witnessed, especially if there was intimidation or other threatening, disruptive behavior that preceded the event that caused you to fear for your safety.

You may email your story to oshsb@dir.ca.gov or mail it to: Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board, 2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95833.

On Dec. 17, the proposed regulation will be considered as part of the Standards Board meeting in Sacramento. We need RNs and healthcare workers to testify not only to the importance and necessity of this regulation as currently proposed, but also to expand the proposed regulation to cover psychological injuries inflicted by harassment, intimidation and other threatening disruptive behavior (verbal or implied threats).

We believe that fear for one’s safety due to threats or intimidation can cause injury that is just as real as actual physical violence and, therefore, should be reflected in the regulation.

Please contact me at (951) 236-7125 or hughesk@seiu121rn.org to discuss logistics of participating in the Sacramento hearing on Dec. 17, or if you need help submitting your comments to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board.

Click here to read the proposed regulation language.

 

In Unity,

Katherine Hughes, RN

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Copyright © 2013 Safe Care Standard
All rights reserved.
1040 Lincoln Avenue Pasadena, CA 91103

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Cal/OSHA Proposed Violence Standard Breaks New Regulatory Ground, Experts Say

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California’s bellwether OSHA program is working to roll out new regulations to tackle workplace violence in the health care sector. Worker safety advocates say new regulations are groundbreaking and could add pressure on federal OSHA to consider working on national standards and also heighten general-duty enforcement against violence in health care. Please click on this link to see the whole article:

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Speak Out!

Intimidation MemeThe Cal/OSHA Standards Board will be holding its July meeting in Southern California…and we’ll be there to address the Board about the draft of the workplace violence prevention regulation for healthcare workers that is now before them for consideration.

The leadership of Cal/OSHA has taken it upon itself to significantly weaken language that was developed over the course of five robust public advisory meetings. That draft is now with the Standards Board. The next step is that the Board will review it and turn it back over to Cal/OSHA with their evaluation.

Cal/OSHA’s leadership has put forward a draft that:

o   Narrows the definition of workplace violence
o   Says verbal and physical intimidation isn’t workplace violence
o   Allows employers to decide what is or isn’t a “credible threat” of workplace violence
o   Allows employers to decide who is a “reasonable person” when it comes to making a complaint of workplace violence
o   Doesn’t mandate effective (site specific, interactive, and frequent) training

We need the Standards Board to tell Cal/OSHA that this watered down draft is not acceptable.

We’ll be gathering outside Pasadena City Hall (100 North Garfield Avenue) at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 16. The meeting starts promptly at 10:00 a.m. Please join us if you can. If you can’t, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll be sharing updates throughout the day.

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