OSHA Sets Meeting on Standard to Prevent Violence at Health Settings
The agency issued a Request for Information on whether to propose such a standard and also scheduled the public meeting for Jan. 10, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
Eight months after the Government Accountability Office released a report about workplace violence aimed at workers in health care and social assistance settings, OSHA announced a public meeting on that topic and issued a Request for Information on whether to propose a standard. The meeting will take place Jan. 10, 2017, in Washington, D.C., and will address strategies for reducing violence in those workplaces.
The GAO report, titled "Additional Efforts Needed to Help Protect Health Care Workers from Workplace Violence" and dated March 2016, was released in April 2016. GAO reviewed three federal data sets and concluded that health care workers experience substantially higher estimated rates of nonfatal injury from workplace violence than workers overall, but the full extent of the problem is unknown. In 2013, private-sector health care workers at in-patient facilities, such as hospitals, experienced workplace violence-related injuries requiring days off from work at an estimated rate at least five times higher than the rate for private-sector workers overall, the report said, and the number of nonfatal workplace violence cases in health care facilities ranged from an estimated 22,250 to 80,710 cases for 2011, with the most common types of reported assaults being hitting, kicking, and beating.
GAO recommended then that OSHA assess the need for rulemaking to address the hazard. The OSHA RFI seeks public comments on the extent and nature of workplace violence in the industry and the effectiveness and feasibility of methods used to prevent it. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically to www.regulations.gov (search for Docket No. OSHA – 2016-0014).
The submission deadline is April 6, 2017.
The public meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time at the U.S. Department of Labor Great Hall, 200 Constitution Ave. NW. To register for the meeting, go to https://projects.erg.com/conferences/osha/register-osha-workplace-violence-meeting.html.