Labor Department aims to protect healthcare workers

Labor Department aims to protect healthcare workers
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The Department of Labor will protect healthcare professionals from workplace violence.

Healthcare and social workers face a “substantially higher” rate of workplace violence than is common in other industries, said David Michaels, who runs the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“Workplace violence is a serious occupational hazard that presents a significant risk for healthcare and social assistance workers,” Michaels wrote Tuesday in a letter to the AFL-CIO.

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“Evidence indicates that the rate of workplace violence in the healthcare and social assistance sector is substantially higher than private industry as a whole,” he added.

This comes in response to petitions from the AFL-CIO and National Nurses United to create a workplace violence standard for healthcare workers.

In the letter, Michaels promises to start the rulemaking processes. But it is unclear whether the development of OSHA’s workplace violence standard will continue under the Trump administration.