HR 1309 - Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act - National Key Vote

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Title: Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that requires the Department of Labor to address workplace violence in the health care and social services sector.



  • Requires the Secretary of Labor to make public an interim final standard on workplace violence prevention within 1 year of this bill’s date of enactment, and a final standard within 2 years (Sec. 101):

    • To require certain employers in the health care and social service sectors to develop and implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan to protect health care workers, social service workers, and other personnel from workplace violence;

    • That must, at a minimum, be based on the Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care and Social Service Workers published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration within the Department of Labor in 2015 and adhere to the requirements of this act; and 

    • That provides for a period up to a 1 year period, during which the secretary will prioritize technical assistance and advice consistent with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to employers subject to the standard with respect to compliance with the standard. 

  • Requires a covered employer to develop, implement, and maintain an effective written workplace violence prevention plan for covered employees at each covered facility and for covered employees performing a covered service on behalf of such employer, and requires the plan to (Sec. 103):

    • Be developed and implemented with the meaningful participation of direct care employees, other employees, and employee representatives, for all aspects of the plan; 

    • Be tailored and specific to conditions and hazards for the covered facility of the covered service, including patient-specific risk factors and specific to each work area or unit; and

    • Be suitable for the size, complexity, and type of operations at the covered facility, and remain in effect at all times.

  • Requires the workplace prevention plan to include the following procedures and methods in its development (Sec. 103):

    • Identification of the individual responsible for the implementation of the plan;

    • With respect to each work area at the covered facility or while covered employees are performing the covered service, risk assessment and identification of workplace violence risks and hazards to employees exposed to such risks and hazards, which shall be:

      • Informed by past violent incidents specific to such covered facility or such covered service; and 

      • Conducted with, at a minimum:

        • Direct care employees;

        • Where applicable, the representatives of such employees; and

        • The employer.

      • Hazard prevention, engineering controls, or work practice controls to correct hazards, in a timely manner, applying industrial hygiene principles of the hierarchy of controls, which:

        • May include security and alarm systems, adequate exit routes, monitoring systems, barrier protection, established areas for patients and clients, lighting, entry procedures, staffing and working in teams, and systems to identify and flag clients with a history of violence; and 

        • Must ensure that employers correct, in a timely manner, hazards identified in any violent incident investigation and any annual report.

      • Reporting, incident response, and post-incident investigation procedures, including procedures:

        • For employees to report workplace violence risks, hazards, and incidents;

        • For employers to perform a post-incident investigation and de-briefing of all reports of workplace violence with the participation of employees and their representatives;

        • To provide medical care or first aid to affected employees; and 

        • To provide employees with information about trauma and related counseling.

      • Procedures for emergency response, including procedures for threats of mass casualties and procedures for incidents involving a firearm or dangerous weapon;

      • Procedures for communicating with and training the covered employees on workplace violence hazards, threats, and work practice controls, the employer’s plan, and procedures for confronting, responding to, and reporting workplace violence threats, incidents, concerns, and employee rights;

      • Procedures for conducting the annual evaluation; and

      • Procedures for:

        • Ensuring the coordination of risk assessment efforts, plan development, and implementation of the plan with other employers who have employees who work at the covered facility; and

        • Determining which covered employers are responsible for implementing and complying with the provisions of the standard applicable to the working conditions over which such employers have control.

  • Specifies that “covered facility” includes, but is not limited to, any of the following (Sec. 102):

    • Any hospital, in-patient or outpatient setting, or clinic operating within a hospital license, or any setting that provides outpatient services;

    • Any residential treatment facility, including any nursing home, skilled nursing facility, hospice facility, and long-term care facility;

    • Any medical treatment or social service setting or clinic at a correctional or detention facility; 

    • Any community care setting, group home, and mental health clinic;

    • Any psychiatric treatment facility; and

    • Any drug abuse or substance use disorder treatment center.

  • Specifies that the term “covered facility” does not include an office of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or any other health practitioner that is not physically located within a covered facility (Sec. 102).

  • Specifies that the term “covered services” includes, but is not limited to, the following services and operations (Sec. 102):

    • Any services and operations provided in any fieldwork setting, including home health care, home-based hospice, and home-based social work;

    • Any emergency services and transport, including services provided by firefighters and emergency responders;

    • Any services performed by a federal government agency and required to comply with occupational safety and health standards; and

    • Any other services and operations the Secretary determines should be covered.

  • Specifies that the term “covered services” does not include child daycare services (Sec. 102).

  • Defines “covered employer” as a person that employs an individual to work at a covered facility, or to perform covered services, but specifies that the term does not include an individual who privately employs, in the individual’s residence, a person to perform covered services for the individual or a family member of the household (Sec. 102).

  • Defines “covered employee” as an individual employed by a covered employer to work at a covered facility, or to perform covered services (Sec. 102).

Title: Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act