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Violence Against Health Care Workers

NewsPersonal Injury   November 8, 2016

Worker’s compensation policies are in place to help protect workers if they sustain an injury at work, but there are some industries and situations where not all injuries are taken as seriously as they could be. The health care industry is one of these. One notable risk that is prevalent for health care workers, that isn’t nearly as big an issue in other industries, is violence in the workplace. In 2013, hospital workers in the private sector were five times more likely to miss work because they were injured by a violent act than other workers in the private sector.

Why the Risk to Health Workers?

To some extent, health workers understand why violence can happen in the workplace. Those who are confined to the hospital and are in a physically and sometimes mentally compromised state are sometimes prone to act out violently against caretakers. Incidents can be difficult to predict, however, with new rules that are expected to go into effect as early as January 2017, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health are going to try. New regulations are expected to enforce various protocols that hospitals and other health care facilities would be required to implement in order to reduce the risk of violent acts within a health care facility.

A Model for Future Regulation and Protection

The Cal/OSHA rules are stronger than existing rules to protect those in the workplace. In order to determine where the risks are in a specific facility, assessments will be done to determine where the risks are, and what protocol can be put in place to prevent incidents. Each facility will likely need their own protocols, as risks can vary depending on the setting.

Several California nurses organizations are excited that their protection and well being is being taken seriously, and hope that the steps to take preventative action in their state will serve as a model for other states as well as federal regulations. The idea behind Cal/OSHA regulation isn’t to hold workplaces responsible for everything bad that happens, but to see that workers are properly educated on how to protect one another and the patients they serve.

Seek Assistance When Injured at Work

Whether health care workers in Ohio will see similar protections, any time soon, remains to be seen. However, if you’ve been hurt at work due to a violent act or through some other dangerous situation, a workers’ compensation lawyer may be of assistance in helping you get the compensation you need to move forward.