Historic Hearing on First Nevada Bill to Address Epidemic of Workplace Violence Faced By Nurses and Other Health Care Workers
Nevada’s health care unions, National Nurses Organizing Committee-Nevada/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) and Service Employees International (SEIU) Local 1107, applaud Nevada Assemblymember Michelle Gorelow’s introduction of a workplace violence prevention bill. Registered nurses and other health care workers are encouraged that the bill, A.B. 348, has already garnered bipartisan support and will have its first hearing on Monday, March 25 before the Nevada Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee.
A.B. 348 would require health care employers to create comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans and track violent incidents in hospitals and other medical facilities.
“I am proud to stand with Nevada’s health care workers and their unions as the author of A.B. 348,” said Gorelow. “Workplace violence in health care is a growing menace and must be stopped. We have a duty to protect those nurses and other health care workers who care for us when we are at our most vulnerable.”
What: Hearing on Nevada workplace violence prevention bill- A.B. 348
When: Monday, March 25, 2019 1:30 p.m.
Where: Room 4100 - Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, Nev.
The hearing will also be video-conferenced to Room 4401 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, Nev.
The risk of workplace violence is a serious occupational hazard for RNs and other health care workers. They experience violence on every shift and routinely report being kicked, punched, slapped, pushed, spat on, and verbally threatened.
Statistics from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicate the problem of violence in medical settings is on the rise. A 2016 GAO report found a greater than 12 percent increase in workplace violence related injuries for health care workers between 2011 and 2013. Violence against nurses and other health care workers causes trauma, injuries, and even death. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, between 2011 and 2016 at least 58 hospital workers died as a result of violence in their workplaces.
“I had a patient kick a nurse’s aide in the chest, punch two RNs and then a house supervisor. Nothing was done,” said Tyiesha McCoy, a medical-surgical nurse in Las Vegas. “We need A.B. 348 to ensure our safety as we care for our patients.”
"Healthcare workers across Nevada are facing a disproportionate amount of violence at work,” said Zavia Norman, a respiratory therapist and vice-president of healthcare for SEIU 1107. Assemblymember Gorelow's bill would involve all healthcare workers, nurses, nursing aides, and other staff in the creation of prevention plans. The bill makes sense and will lead to meaningful solutions."
A.B. 348 is sponsored by Nevada health care unions NNOC/NNU and SEIU Local 1107. The bill has also been endorsed by the Nevada State AFL-CIO.
Highlights of the Workplace Violence Prevention Bill -- A.B. 348
- It creates a Nevada OSHA standard to require health care employers to create comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans.
- The definition of workplace violence must include any act of violence or threats of violence, regardless of whether an employee was injured.
- The plans must be unit specific and created in collaboration between employers and employees.
- The plans must delineate how to implement prevention measures such as staffing, security response, alarms, sufficient lighting, and other measures.
- The plans must include procedures for employees to report all incidents of workplace violence without fear of reprisal.
- Employers must provide effective training programs including hands on de-escalation training for all employees with patient contact.
- The bill requires that health care employers keep records of all workplace violence incidents and report certain incidents to the Department of Industrial Relations.