Local 2695

 

APR 22, 2019

Stat Facts: USW Health Care Member Spotlight: Kathy Whitaker, District 8

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Do you or someone you care about have a story about violence in a health care setting? Let us know.

Kicked. Punched. Verbally Abused. Choked. Shoved.

These things should never be “all in a day’s work.”

For tens of thousands of USW members working in hospitals, nursing homes, emergency response, and similar workplaces, this is too often the reality. The rates of violence in health care workplaces is 12 times the rate of other sectors, and it is rising sharply. Health care workers suffer more workplace injuries than any other profession, with about 654,000 people harmed per year on the job.

This violence poses a wide threat to nurses, physicians, healthcare staff, patients, and visitors. It also drives up costs and undermines both the quality of care and patient outcomes. Ultimately, it impacts us all.

Here’s the good news: There are proven strategies to reduce violence, like appropriate staffing, trained security staff, and other protocols. This week, the U.S. House held a hearing on The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309), a bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02) that would instruct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue much-needed standards.

There’s a saying that OSHA rules are written in blood. For too long, health care workers have paid the price of inaction. Please watch for ways you can get involved in the coming weeks.

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