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Comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Measures Could Address 70% of all Workplace Assaults

Thursday, March 7, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kanaka Sathasivan
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For Immediate Release

March 7, 2019

Kanaka Sathasivan 
Texas Nurses Association
512.452.0648 x 130

Comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Measures Could Address 70% of all Workplace Assaults

One in two nurses has experienced verbal, physical or sexual assault in the workplace

Austin, TX (March 7, 2019) — Most workplaces provide training for fires, active shooter events and natural disasters like tornadoes. However, compared to the small number of workers who have experienced these rare events, one in two nurses has experienced workplace violence, including verbal, physical and sexual assault. Of all assaults in U.S. workplaces, 70 percent occurred in health care and social service settings.

Yet many health care workplaces do not address workplace violence in their facility safety plan and fail to provide violence prevention training. A 2016 study by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies shows that over 40 percent of nurses receive no training on workplace violence, and of those that did, a large number only received awareness training, rather than preventative training.

Texas Nurses Association and the Nursing Legislative Agenda Coalition are working with Rep. Donna Howard to pass HB 1146, which will help protect nurses and other front-line health care providers.

HB 1146 would require facilities to develop a workplace violence prevention policy and plan and include nurses in the process to ensure the plans are based on real-life situations and consider practical solutions. This sweeping reform will require health care workplaces to prioritize the safety of their employees and patients by establishing a committee (or authorizing an existing committee) to develop a plan that includes:

  • Training for providers and employees who provide direct patient care.
  • A system for responding to and investigating violent or potentially violent incidents.
  • Consideration of factors that may increase or decrease incidents of workplace violence.
  • Examination of security risks in publicly accessible areas of the facility.

Most healthcare organizations already have safety committees, and hospitals are required to have nurse staffing committees, so violence prevention planning can easily be incorporated into this existing structure. Workplace violence prevention training programs are widely available, including free online trainings offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, so access and cost of resources should not be a barrier.

Our lawmakers have already shown interest in this issue with a 2017 bill establishing a grant program for organizations to implement violence prevention programs. This bill would be the most comprehensive step yet to address the issue for all workers in all types of facilities. We ask Texas health care workers to urge their lawmakers to support this bill to prevent workplace violence in Texas.

Texas Nurses Association

Texas Affiliate of ANA | 4807 Spicewood Springs Rd., Bldg 3, Suite 100, Austin TX 78759

800.862.2022 | 512.452.0645 |