Since 2009, SEIU Nurse Alliance of California and SEIU Local 121RN have been addressing workplace violence prevention through legislation, training, and advocacy. However, in 2012 it became clear that the current legislation and regulations could not adequately protect healthcare workers. The culmination of these efforts led to the determination that the most effective course of action would be to petition Cal/OSHA for a comprehensive workplace violence prevention standard for healthcare workers in California.
California has created a model workplace violence prevention legislation found in Assembly Bill 1083 (Perez) passed in 2009. While the language of this bill is superb, it is difficult to implement and enforce due to not being in labor code and thus out of Cal/OSHA’s jurisdiction. We need a regulation that is enforceable by Cal/OSHA.
Why is this important?
Healthcare workers are tragically familiar with the violence that occurs within their workplaces and this reality is often compounded by the culture that violence is “part of the job.” SEIU Nurse Alliance of California and SEIU Local 121RN know that this cannot be farther from the truth. Violence in healthcare is both predictable and preventable and – through this standard – we hope to change this culture and help to save and protect the lives of healthcare workers.