Washington — A companion bill to the Office Violence Prevention for Well being Care and Social Service Staff Act (H.R. 1195), handed by the Home in April 2021, has been launched in Senate.
The laws would direct OSHA to difficulty an ordinary requiring employers within the well being care and social providers industries to develop and implement office violence prevention plans to guard nurses, physicians, social staff, emergency responders and others.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the invoice’s sponsor, made the announcement alongside representatives from Nationwide Nurses United and different labor unions throughout a Might 11 digital press convention. Baldwin famous that the COVID-19 pandemic has been significantly difficult for staff in well being care and social providers.
“They’ve confronted unprecedented obstacles to simply keep wholesome and do their jobs,” Baldwin mentioned. “On high of all of it, they’ve seen a spike in mindless violence in opposition to them. That is completely unacceptable.”
Launched in April, the results of an NNU survey of greater than 2,500 hospital nurses present that 48% of respondents reported experiencing a small or important enhance in office violence – up from 30.6% in September and 21.9% in March 2021.
“We’re bearing the brunt of a damaged well being care system at a time when folks’s frustration and stress are at their highest,” mentioned NNU President Jean Ross, a registered nurse from Minnesota. “The violence is simply getting worse. We’re not keen to take it any longer.”
Ross added that the laws is critical as a result of “well being care employers received’t do it on their very own.”
She continued: “We’re uninterested in being referred to as heroes and angels whereas our well being and security – and our very lives – are being put in jeopardy. We want motion.”
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond and American Federation of Academics President Randi Weingarten had been additionally available to specific their help for the invoice.
Baldwin, who can also be a member of the Senate Employment and Office Security Subcommittee, famous that the invoice has 26 co-sponsors. H.R. 1195 – sponsored by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) – handed by a 254-166 vote, with 38 Republicans voting in help.
Courtney, who has been married to a nurse practitioner for greater than 30 years, mentioned the invoice could make well being care and social providers employers extra enticing to potential job seekers in a tough labor market.
“The easiest way they’ll improve their place concerning hiring is to make it clear to folks that their security issues after they go to work … and that you just’re not having to have interaction in martial arts every single day if you’re simply attempting to do your job,” he mentioned.
Courtney’s invoice initially handed the Home by a 251-158 vote Nov. 21, 2019, however by no means got here up for a vote within the Senate. He reintroduced the invoice on Feb. 22, 2021.