Health care workers in the US are nearly four times more likely to be injured and require time away from work as a result of workplace violence (OSHA, 2015). Addressing workplace violence is a priority for WSHA, our member hospitals and regional partners. It is our goal to ensure health care worker safety and prevent workplace violence. This will be accomplished through strong leadership commitment, collaboration, standardization of safety practices and the deployment of tools and resources to support hospitals and health care workers advance safety at the local level.
In 2019, Washington’s legislature enacted HB 1931 to a help address workplace violence in hospitals and other health care settings. WSHA is working to support members in implementing the law (RCW 49.19). The law requires hospitals to:
- Have a committee to address workplace violence.
- Develop and implement a plan to address workplace violence.
- Provide violence prevention training.
The resources below are intended to help hospitals address workplace violence and comply with the law.
While work is underway to develop new tools and resources for hospitals to address workplace violence there are key steps hospitals can take now:
- Participate in WSHA’s quarterly educational webinars.
- Leverage the current Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) workplace violence prevention toolkit
- For Washington hospitals, review WSHA’s bulletin on our state’s law (RCW 49.19) and work with your team to develop a compliance strategy
- Activate and use Collective Medical’s Security and Safety Event Notification feature to ensure members of the health care team have timely access to information to help reduce the risk of violence
Workplace Violence Prevention Toolkit
OAHHS, in collaboration with other partners, produced a comprehensive toolkit to address workplace violence in 2017 and the toolkit was updated in March of 2020. We encourage hospitals to review the toolkit and leverage resources to help address workplace violence.
WSHA staff are here to help hospitals get started and use the toolkit. Often, this starts with conducting a gap analysis and identifying opportunities for improvement.
Toolkits & Resources
WSHA has identified several external programs and resources to support hospitals in advancing workplace violence prevention.
- Oregon State: Workplace Violence Prevention Toolkit. Comprehensive toolkit to help hospitals and health care organizations address workplace violence.
- Washington State:
- The American Hospital Association has several great resources from national best practices and case studies to support hospital staff in addressing workplace violence.
- Collective Medical’s Security and Safety Event notification system which provides critical information to help protect members of the health care team from workplace violence.