Healthcare Professionals More Likely To Be Assaulted Than Other Workers

Assault and battery usually happens in the workplace. Employees fight with other employees or their supervisors. Assault and battery are crimes that could result into lawsuits and other repercussions. If you have experienced assault or battery in the workplace, talk to an assault lawyer who is experienced in the employment laws of the state.  

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration, at least three-quarters of assault cases happen to health workers. Unlike other professions, there is no federal law on prevention, reporting and action if a federal worker experiences assault while on the job. There is growing concern that healthcare professionals are more likely to be assaulted than any other type of worker.

From 2009 to 2013, Government Accountability Office revealed that health care professionals reported more than 730,000 cases of assault. The numbers are quite low because of issues of underreporting. There have been reports of healthcare professionals being bitten, shoved, kicked, shot and sometimes killed in health institutions across the country.

Last February, Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn introduced a bill that requires OSHA to issue a nationwide standard on the establishment and implementation of workplace violence prevention plans for healthcare professionals. The bill passed the House on November 21 with bi-partisan support.

H.R. 1309 requires risk assessment and identification including action that would be tailored for each type of health facility outlined in the bill. Treatment centers must establish procedures for communication, training for workers to recognize high-risk situations, record incidents in a violent incident log and plans for future incidents based on past violent incidents.

The levels of violence have increased dramatically because of heroin and opioid use and general behavioral issues. Healthcare professionals certainly did not sign up to become victims of assault or violence.

However, the American Hospital Association opposed the bill because hospitals are already too stressed in the prevention of workplace violence.

In a workplace environment where people are confined to the same space every day, violence usually erupts. If you are accused of assault or battery, contact an assault lawyer immediately to protect your rights. Violence may escalate and preventive measures must be undertaken to resolve the conflict and tense situation.