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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2019 04:43 PM
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” (last session’s SB 815). Previous sponsors included Senators Greenleaf, Rafferty, Yudichak, Browne, Brewster, Mensch, McGarrigle and Williams.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, from 2002 to 2013, incidents of serious workplace violence (those requiring days off for the injured worker to recuperate) were four times more common in healthcare than in private industry on average. In 2013, the broad “healthcare and social assistance” sector had 7.8 cases of serious workplace violence per 10,000 full-time employees while other large sectors such as construction, manufacturing, and retail all had fewer than two cases per 10,000 full-time employees.

Also in 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that psychiatric aides experienced the highest rate of violent injuries that resulted in days away from work, at approximately 590 injuries per 10,000 full-time employees. This rate is more than 10 times higher than the next group, nursing assistants, who experienced about 55 such injuries per 10,000 full-time employees. Registered nurses experienced about 14 violent injuries resulting in days away from work per 10,000 full-time employees, compared with a rate of 4.2 in U.S. private industry as a whole.

The numbers above only include incidents that led to time away from work. While some data are available for other violent incidents, surveys show that many incidents go unreported, even at facilities with formal incident reporting systems. Reasons for underreporting include lack of a reporting policy, lack of faith in the reporting system, and fear of retaliation.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation to protect the doctors, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare professionals who selflessly and tirelessly care for us when we are most vulnerable.

Introduced as SB255