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Workplace Violence Prevention

Personal Safety

Mar 31, 2022

House Passes Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Act

  • On April 16th, 2021 the US House of Representatives passed by a vote of 254-166 the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1195).  The law requires employers to provide annual training and education to employees; maintain detailed records of workplace violence risk, hazard assessments and violent incidents; and submit annual summaries of such incident

    The legislation also directs the Secretary of Labor to issue a final standard requiring employers in the health care and social service sectors to develop and implement a workplace violence prevention plan based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines.

    The  law is designed to help Healthcare workers that frequently experience dangerous workplace violence incidents:

    • In 2017, registered nurses reported more than three times the rate of injuries due to workplace
      violence than workers overall.1
    • In a survey of hospital employees, 62 percent reported that they were the target of violence within the last year.2
    • Workplace violence is underreported by hospital employees. In a 2015 study, 88 percent of
      respondents had not documented in their employer’s electronic system an incident of violence
      that they had experienced in the previous year.3

KATANA Safety can help with these new employment requirements:

  • Establish a clear process for employees to report all incidents and threats of workplace violence
  • Obtain the active involvement of employees on workplace violence risks and selection of effective prevention measures on each unit and in each facility, on the development of procedures required under the Standard, and on developing and administering training on each unit and in each facility.
  • Implement the following prevention measures in every unit where they would effectively prevent workplace violence:
    1. Ensuring sufficient numbers of trained staff are available to respond immediately to workplace violence, without conflicting job assignments, on all shifts.
    2. Assigning sufficient numbers of staff to reduce patient-specific workplace violence (e.g., sitters).
    3. Creating a plan to prevent the entry of weapons into the facility by patients or visitors.
    4. Installing, implementing, and maintaining an effective alarm system that can be used without barrier during workplace violence incidents.
    5. Ensuring that parking lots and walkways around the facility are safe.
  • Develop a transparent plan to respond effectively and immediately to all workplace violence incidents.
  • Record information about every workplace violence incident, regardless of whether an injury occurs, in a Violent Incident Log.
  • Implement a training program, which should cover the employer’s workplace violence prevention plan, how to report incidents, and other topics.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor. “Workplace Injuries & Illnesses: Nonfatal cases involving days away from work: selected characteristics (2011 forward).” Available here
  2. Arnetz, J. et al. Underreporting of Workplace Violence: Comparison of Self-Report and Actual
    Documentation of Hospital Incidents. Workplace Health and Safety. Vol. 63, 2015, pp. 200-10.
  3. Arnetz, J. et al. Underreporting of Workplace Violence: Comparison of Self-Report and Actual Documentation of Hospital Incidents. Workplace Health and Safety. Vol. 63, 2015
Brie Friedman

Brie Friedman