Sending Office: Honorable Joe Courtney
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Join 140 members in cosponsoring H.R. 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act 

Endorsing organizations:  AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AIHA, Alliance for Retired Americans, American Art Therapy Association , American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work, American College of Emergency Physicians, American
College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, American Counseling Association, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, American Federation of Teachers, American Nurses Association, American
Psychiatric Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, Coalition of Labor Union Women of Southwestern PA, Communications Workers of America, ElevatingHOME, Emergency Nurses Association, International Association of Fire Fighters, International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Midstate Education and Service Foundation, National Association of County Behavioral Health & Development Disability Directors, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, National Association of
Rural Mental Health, National Association of Social Workers, National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, National Nurses United, Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health, Public Citizen, Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety
and Health, School Social Work Association of America, SEIU, Smart Transportation, Teamsters, UAW, United Steelworkers, Worksafe

Dear Colleague:

Nurses, doctors, social workers, nursing aides, and emergency transport workers have sounded the alarm – they are increasingly the victims of violence while at work, and they’re ready for Congress to do something about it.

The stories are harrowing: a nurse in Milwaukee suffered a collapsed trachea after she was kicked in the neck. A social worker in Tampa was stabbed to death by a client. In Connecticut, an experienced nurse was stabbed 11 times in her arm. Emergency room
doctors report routine violence: being kicked in the face, spat on and punched. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 70% percent of all incidents of workplace violence in 2017 involved workers in the health care and social assistance

The impact of this violence extends beyond the individual employee and their recovery. Amid a workforce shortage, nurses report leaving the profession they love out of fear or injury, workers compensation costs rise, health care providers face staff shortages,
and patient care suffers.

That’s why a growing number of diverse health care and social service stakeholders have endorsed H.R. 1309.

This bill would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a workplace violence prevention standard, and for employers to develop, implement, and maintain a tailored violence prevention plan. We know there are evidence-based tactics
that should be implemented in these settings to prevent the frequency and severity of violent incidents, and that they work. It’s time our workplace safety laws catch up with this research.

Please join us in fighting for the well being and safety of those who care for us and our communities in our times of need. Every doctor, nurse, and social worker deserves to know that their employer is doing their best to keep them safe at work.

A recent Modern Healthcare article highlighted
this growing trend, citing the fact that one hospital system confiscated almost 300 weapons from patients or visitors in one year. The CEO of the Cleveland Clinic called the rise in violence in hospitals an “epidemic.”

“There is a very fundamental problem in U.S. healthcare that very few people speak about, and that’s the violence against healthcare workers,” said Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic. “Daily, literally daily, we’re exposed
to violent outbursts, in particular in our emergency rooms.”

Please contact with questions or to be added as a cosponsor

Thank you for your support,

Rep. Joe Courtney

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Family Issues, HealthCare, Labor

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