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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 14, 2020 12:27 PM
From: Representative Leanne Krueger and Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski
To: All House members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship: Healthcare Facilities Violence Prevention Act
Healthcare professionals working in hospitals and other healthcare settings face significant risks of workplace violence. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines workplace violence as violent acts including physical assaults and threats of assault directed towards persons at work or on duty. Additional instances of workplace violence in healthcare facilities include verbal threats, physical attacks by patients, coworker bullying, active shooters, and domestic disputes.

Between the years of 2011-2013, healthcare workers annually suffered 15,000 to 20,000 instances of workplace violence related injuries that required time away from work for treatment and/or recovery. Here at home, in 2014, a caseworker was killed by a patient at an outpatient psychiatric facility in Darby, Pennsylvania.

With these alarming statistics in mind, we intend to introduce legislation that will create the Healthcare Facilities Violence Prevention Act. In essence, our legislation does the following:
  1. Requires a health facility to establish a workplace violence prevention committee that will create, review, administer, and provide guidance on programs relating to the prevention of workplace violence at Commonwealth healthcare facilities.
  2. Requires the workplace violence prevention committee to annually perform a risk assessment evaluation of the factors that may put a healthcare provider or employee of a health facility at risk for workplace violence.
  3. Requires the workplace violence prevention committee to meet quarterly to review all cases of workplace violence and to perform duties as required.
  4. Requires the workplace violence prevention committee to prepare a report from the risk assessment and to establish a workplace violence prevention program.
  5. Requires the workplace violence prevention committee to provide training to employees and healthcare providers who provide direct patient care at the time of their hire and annually thereafter.
  6. Requires the mandatory reporting of instances of workplace violence.
  7. Protects employees and other healthcare providers from retaliatory action for reporting instances of workplace violence.
As Legislators, we have a duty to ensure that every citizen of this great Commonwealth is afforded a safe, violence free workplace where they can go to work and perform their duties without the fear of bodily harm or fear for their personal safety.

To that end, please join us by co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Takesha Latham in Rep. Krueger’s office at tlatham@pahouse.net.

Introduced as HB348