AHA today applauded the reintroduction of the Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees Act (H.R. 2584), bipartisan legislation that would give health care workers the same legal protections against assault and intimidation that flight crews and airport workers have under federal law. The bill also would establish a federal grant program at the Department of Justice to augment hospitals’ efforts to reduce violence, by funding violence prevention training programs, coordination with state and local law enforcement, and physical plant improvements, such as metal detectors and panic buttons.
“Over the past few years, health care workers across the nation have experienced a sharp increase in incidences of workplace violence, with no sign that this trend is receding,” AHA said in a letter of support to the bill’s sponsors, Reps. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., and Madeleine Dean, D-Pa. “Despite the diligent efforts of hospitals and health systems to prevent violence, health care workers remain five times more likely than any other type of worker to be physically attacked on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
See the statement on the legislation from Robyn Begley, AHA chief nursing officer and senior vice president of workforce and CEO of AHA’s American Organization for Nursing Leadership affiliate, that was shared with the media this afternoon.