Workplace Violence Prevention

SEIU On NBC News: Nurses Seek Protection From Frequent Hospital Violence After Shooting

California authorities and healthcare workers met to discuss first-in-the-nation safety rules aimed at preventing hospital violence. This comes two weeks after an LA nurse was shot on duty at a hospital. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. (Published Thursday, Feb 5, 2015)

 See the full article on NBC Local News 4.

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Join Us in a Moment of Silence Today in Honor of Sister Evelyn Lynch

Please join us today in honoring Sister Evelyn Lynch, RN who was injured on the job at Brookdale University Hospital, after repeated citations from OSHA. She is still recovering from her injuries. SEIU 1199 New York is hosting a prayer service tonight at 5:00 PM EST. Let us stand together today and pray to end the violence now.

See the citation here.

Evelyn Lynch - 1 year Prayer Ceremony-2

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Looking Back/Moving Forward: Safe Workers Save Lives


When we set out to get a Cal/OSHA workplace violence prevention regulation in place to cover all healthcare workers in the state of California, many people said it would be 10 years or more before we saw anything like that. Some said it was just flat out impossible. Our response then was the same as it is today: We will not only get this done, we will do it in less than 4 years … and guess what? We are right on target!

This past year, we’ve gone from submitting our petition to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board, to having it accepted, to moving quickly into the process of getting the actual regulation written. Along the way, we’ve educated, mobilized, and organized around the hazard of workplace violence in the healthcare industry.

We are now in the first weeks of our third full year of the campaign and we believe that a draft of the regulation will go to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board by the first week of June. They will then take a few months to review that language and bring it to committee and public comment before voting. The good news is that Governor Brown signed into law SB 1299 requiring Cal/OSHA to have a workplace violence prevention regulation for healthcare workers promulgated by June 2016 (a law that we were successful in amending to ensure that the scope of our regulation would not be limited).

We hit the ground running in 2015. We anticipate reviewing the first draft of the regulation very soon and are coordinating a task force of healthcare workers to do a first read with us. (If you are interested in being part of that group, please email or call Richard at 626-375-6426.)

Aside from working on the regulation itself, we are gearing up for two actions that will coincide around Workers Memorial Day – one in the Los Angeles area and one in Sacramento. When we have the details in place, we’ll post the information here.For now, save the dates of April 29 (Los Angeles) and May 6 (Sacramento) for these “Safe Workers Save Lives” actions.

Finally, Cal/OSHA’s next meeting about the regulation is scheduled for Thursday, February 5, at the Caltrans Building (100 South Main Street) in Los Angeles. This will be a critical meeting for everyone to attend because it is to discuss the first draft of the regulation. Please save the date and email Kathy to let us know you’ll be there.


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Non-Hospital Healthcare Workers Speak Out on Workplace Violence

Group SEIUOn November 13, more than 30 healthcare workers and union staff from Service Employees International Union Locals 121RN, 1021, 1000, and United Long Term Care Workers joined in solidarity with representatives from the United Nurses Association of California, the California Nurses Association, the California Teachers Association, Worksafe, and the California American Nurses Association at the second Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence in Healthcare advisory meeting in Oakland.

This was one in a series of public stakeholder meetings being held by Cal/OSHA to develop the country’s first comprehensive workplace violence prevention regulation for healthcare workers. The focus of this meeting was to discuss workplace violence and prevention mechanisms as they relate to non-hospital healthcare settings.

It is clear that the mechanisms of prevention – when it comes to the hazard of workplace violence – will be different from one work environment to the next. What will work at San Quentin simply may not be suitable for what is needed at College Hospital Cerritos, for example.

When the Chairs of the meeting asked about what takes place at non-hospital settings, they heard about an incident where a nurse in a prison, attempting to give meds to her patient through a door-slide, was assaulted when her patient threw feces and urine all over her. They also heard about a home healthcare worker who had to lock herself in with her patient in the bathroom of the home she was visiting because the parents of the patient were being violent with one another.

There is no shortage of these stories, regardless of the settings in which healthcare workers perform their duties, and they are propelling the California Safe Care Standard campaign on a fast track whereby we will definitely have a regulation in place no later than the summer of 2016.

“It is important to realize that many of these state regulations can take upwards of ten years to put in place. The fact that we will see our workplace violence prevention standard in place in about three years from start to finish is a testament to how critical this issue this, and to the readiness with which workers are willing to share their harrowing experiences with the hazard and the risks associated with the hazard,” said Richard Negri, SEIU Local 121RN Health and Safety Director and co-lead of the campaign.

Thank you to everyone who went to Oakland to be part of this historic regulatory-making process. Up next is a sub-committee meeting on Wednesday, November 19 on security issues. For more information, email us.


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