OSHA is looking for feedback on the extent and nature of workplace violence in health care, as well as the nature and effectiveness of interventions and controls that might be used to prevent it. Details on how to submit comments and materials are here. The deadline is April 6.
In a report issued last March, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that the rate of workplace violence against healthcare employees and those involved in social assistance services is substantially higher than the rate in other private industry. But the extent of the problem and its associated costs are unknown, it said, because healthcare workers may not always report such incidents, and limited research exists on the issue.
It is known that in 2013, the most recent year in which data was available, healthcare workers in inpatient facilities required an estimated 5 times as many days off due to workplace-violence-related injuries as did private-sector workers overall, according to the Department of Labor. The most common types of reported assaults, says the GAO, are hitting, kicking, and beating.