AIHA Applauds U.S. House Passage of the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act

AIHA CEO Lawrence Sloan praised the House of Representatives for passing the bill and urged the Senate to swiftly pass the bill.

Falls Church, Va. (April 16, 2021)—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Workplace Violence for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, which is a key step towards providing health care and social workers with the workplace protections they desperately need.

The bill, reintroduced earlier this year by Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02), is supported by a bipartisan group of 145 co-sponsors, including: Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee; Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02); Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12), chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections; Rep. Don Young (AK-At Large); Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17); Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01); and Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04). Earlier this week, the White House issued a Statement of Administrative Policy in support of the bill.

AIHA CEO Lawrence Sloan praised the House of Representatives for passing the bill and urged the Senate to take action to reduce workplace violence, save lives, and protect communities by swiftly passing the bill.

“If signed into law, this bill would call on the U.S. Secretary of Labor to issue an occupational safety and health standard requiring employers within the health care and social service industries to develop and implement comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans that are appropriate to each employer’s needs,” Sloan said.

This bill is particularly important considering that rates of workplace violence against health care and social service workers have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan legislation is supported by health care and social service professionals as well as unions that represent them.

“Workplace violence, particularly in health care and social service settings, remains one of the leading causes of traumatic death and injury in the United States,” said AIHA President Lindsay Cook, CIH, CSP. “As AIHA states in its White Paper on the Prevention of Workplace Violence, these events are often both predictable and preventable. Each instance of violence leaves lasting scars on workplaces, families, and communities. We need to do more to prevent these senseless tragedies.”

Close to two million U.S. workers experience workplace violence each year, and nearly 75% of all assaults happen in health care settings. Preventing workplace violence and increasing worker protections are critical issues included in AIHA’s Public Policy Agenda.

For more information on AIHA’s support for the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, please contact Mark Ames, AIHA director of Government Relations.

About AIHA

AIHA is the association for scientists and professionals committed to preserving and ensuring occupational and environmental health and safety in the workplace and community. Founded in 1939, we support our members with our expertise, networks, comprehensive education programs, and other products and services that help them maintain the highest professional and competency standards. More than half of AIHA’s nearly 8,500 members are Certified Industrial Hygienists, and many hold other professional designations. AIHA serves as a resource for those employed across the public and private sectors as well as to the communities in which they work. For more information, please visit www.aiha.org

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