New PA measure aims to prevent workplace violence in health care facilities

Posted by Kristina Taylor
November 21, 2011

New PA measure aims to prevent workplace violence in health care facilities

In an attempt to improve workplace safety in a number of health care facilities across Pennsylvania, the Health Care Facilities Workplace Violence Prevention Act was recently introduced in the Pennsylvania House. The act, called HB 1992, requires Pennsylvania hospitals and other health care facilities to take steps to protect health care workers from being the victims of workplace violence. Those steps include assessing security risks, finding ways to make the workplace safer, and assisting workplace violence victims in their efforts to report such incidents.

The new legislation comes in response to the recent rise in workplace violence incidents targeting health care professionals across the U.S., particularly nurses. Over half of the nurses surveyed by the Emergency Nurses Association in 2010 reported experiencing physical or verbal abuse at work in the previous seven days, and between eight and 13 percent of emergency nurses said they are victims of workplace violence incidents every week.

Employers at health care facilities need to make workplace safety a top priority, and that begins with the hiring process. A thorough employment screening process can help weed out those who pose a safety risk to fellow employees.

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