For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

Saunders: Workplace violence bill provides the protection public service workers need and deserve

AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement in response to the passage by the House of Representatives of the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1195):

“Health care and social services can be some of the most dangerous work out there. These public service workers – dedicated to healing and helping some of our most troubled, marginalized people – have to contend with threats of stabbing and biting and attacks of all kinds on the job. But current federal law leaves them largely to fend for themselves.

“By requiring OSHA to issue a workplace violence prevention standard for health care and social services settings, H.R. 1195 would finally give these brave workers the protection they need and deserve. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, the legislation would also give employers the flexibility to develop plans that are tailored to their specific needs and risk factors.

“This bill would mean safer workplaces that allow our nurses, paramedics, behavioral health professionals and others to do their essential jobs without fear of injury and assault, while also improving patient care. AFSCME is grateful to Representative Joe Courtney for his incredible work on this issue, and we urge the Senate to take up H.R. 1195 without delay.”