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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 10, 2023 02:10 PM
From: Representative Leanne Krueger and Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski
To: All House members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship: Health Facility Employee Violence Prevention Act
Violence occurring in the workplace is more prevalent in the healthcare industry than in any other industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare workers accounted for 73% of all non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses due to violence in 2018 alone. In addition, workplace violence has also been linked to a reduction in the quality of patient care in an essential field already stressed by the reduction of qualified healthcare professionals due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a 2021 internal survey, members of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) reported that 50% of their members stated they have personally experienced violence in their workplace. In this same survey, 67% of respondents said their hospital or facility had not done a good job of protecting them from workplace violence.

As such, 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.
It is important to note that an overwhelming percentage of respondents to the aforementioned survey support the Healthcare Facilities Violence and Prevention Act. Consequently, we have a duty to ensure that healthcare workers of this great Commonwealth are afforded a safe, violence free workplace where these heroes and heroines can 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 HB1088