The House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections yesterday held a hearing on protecting health care and social service workers from violence in the workplace. The focus of the hearing was a bill (H.R. 1309) introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., that would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a workplace violence prevention standard within a year and health care and social service employers to comply with the standard to participate in Medicare. The bill has 33 Democratic co-sponsors, including Committee Chairman Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Subcommittee Chairwoman Alma Adams, D-N.C. OSHA currently provides voluntary guidelines for workplace violence prevention and may cite employers who fail to provide a workplace free from recognized serious hazards.

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