Bear Witness: UNAC/UHCP Members Testify at CAL/OSHA Hearing on Workplace Violence in Hospitals

March 2015

If you don’t believe workplace violence in hospitals is an issue, you may want to ask the thousands of nurses and health care workers who signed a petition to Cal/OSHA urging them to put regulations in place to protect workers as soon as possible.

Dozens of UNAC/UHCP health care professionals participated in a hearing by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) regarding draft regulations to protect health care workers. UNAC/UHCP members testified about the impact workplace violence has had in their lives. Cal/OSHA is working to write and enact strong workplace protections for health care workers. These regulations may become a model for how the rest of the country handles this pervasive issue.

St. Francis RN Scott Byington, RN, was one of many who spoke out at the hearing and on the news about workplace violence and its impact on health care workers, saying,“As nurses we go to work to care for patients. We should not be placed in harm’s way because of poor policy and inadequate regulations related to workplace violence. Our security is not armed and our hospital appears to be inadequately staffed with security officers. When there is an incident, some of the security officers may have to leave their assigned posts, leaving those areas vulnerable. We need improved Cal/OSHA standards so we can have better security and keep patients and health care workers safe.”

For those who haven’t already signed the petition in support of fast-tracking regulations protecting health care workers, go to unacuhcp.org to sign, and click on the link that says Sign the Petition Against Workplace Violence.