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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 23, 2017 11:56 AM
From: Senator Andrew E. Dinniman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Healthcare Facilities Violence Prevention Act
I will soon re-introduce the “Healthcare Facilities Violence Prevention Act” (SB 769 of 2015), legislation that aims to protect the doctors, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare professionals who selflessly and tirelessly care for us when we are most vulnerable. Rep. Alexander Charlton is planning to introduce similar legislation in the House.

On July 24, 2014, a caseworker was killed and a physician wounded by a patient in the outpatient psychiatric unit at Mercy Fitzgerald Wellness Center in Darby, Pennsylvania. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare and social assistance workers were the victims of approximately 11,370 assaults nationwide – a more than 13 percent increase over the previous year. Almost 19 percent of these assaults occurred in nursing and residential care facilities alone. Unfortunately, experts believe that many more incidents likely go unreported.

In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the rate of workplace violence-related nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work for health care and social assistance workers was 15.1 per 10,000 full-time workers in 2012. For private industry overall, the rate was 4.0. Common factors associated with violence include long wait times in emergency departments, patients who have a history of violence, patients with psychiatric histories, and patients under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to a study published January 2014, in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB815