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NNU Petitions Violence Prevention in Workplace

Advanced Healthcare Network for Nurses, 8/2/16

National Nurses United (NNU) wants a standard for violence in the workplace, and they want it now.

"Nurses cannot keep their patients safe if they cannot guarantee their own personal safety," said Bonnie Castillo, NNU director of health and safety. NNU petitioned the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for a formal workplace violence prevention standard.

With growing rates of violence against nurses and healthcare providers while at work, the NNU team hopes to encourage OSHA to provide a comprehensive prevention plan to stop violence before it begins. The petition submitted by NNU also asks for a thorough assessment by OSHA of risk factors-like staffing levels-a post-incidence response procedure, employee participation in the creation of a plan and prohibition on retaliation against an employee who may seek legal assistance after an incident.

"Workers and their unions have the right to petition OSHA to promulgate that protective standard," Castillo said. "This petition says the wellbeing of all nurses and healthcare workers must be mandated at the federal level-and it must be mandated now."

NNU has already had success in some states, including California, Minnesota and Massachusetts. Now the organization is taking it to the federal level.

"We cannot stand by while one more nurse or healthcare worker is injured or killed on the job." Castillo added.



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