OSHA seeks violence input

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Federal regulators are asking providers for thoughts on how to curb violence in healthcare workplaces.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is requesting feedback from all types of providers in light of research that revealed levels of violence in the healthcare sector five times the national average for all workplaces.

OSHA filed notice in early December, asking whether it should propose a federal standard to prevent workplace violence in healthcare and social assistance settings. 

Comments from providers and other stakeholders may be submitted until April 6. In conjunction with the information-gathering campaign, the agency scheduled a public meeting for Jan. 10. Officials had hoped it would “supplement written comments by allowing workers, employers and other stakeholders to describe their experiences with workplace violence.”

An April 2016 report issued by the Government Accountability Office called on OSHA to improve its education and enforcement approaches on violence in healthcare settings. The industry had shown “substantially higher” rates of workplace violence injuries than other professions.

Workplace violence-related injuries in the private sector as a whole occurred at a rate of 1.7 per 10,000 workers in 2014 and 8.2 per 10,000 for healthcare, OSHA reported.