The state Legislature is deep in the middle of its fall session, and it’s the perfect time to remind lawmakers to take action to protect Pennsylvania health care workers.
Every day that doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals step foot in their workplaces to take care of us, they put themselves at risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that incidents of serious workplace violence were four times more common in health care than in private industry, on average. In fact, there has been a 72 percent increase in the rate of workplace violence injuries within 105 hospitals participating in the Occupational Health Safety Network.
Pennsylvania lawmakers have the ability to move three bills to keep health care workers safer in their workplaces.
One measure, House Bill 39, sponsored by Representative Pam Snyder (D-Fayette), Senate Bill 842, sponsored by Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), and House Bill 1880, sponsored by Representative Keith Gillespie (R-York) will allow for the removal health care workers’ last names from their work ID badges. In today’s digital world, a quick online search of someone’s last name can generate enormous amounts of private information, from addresses to family members’ names. That can open the door for an ill-intentioned person to stalk, threaten, or assault a health care worker.
Maintaining just first names on a badge will provide patients the familiarity they want and workers the personal security they need.
A second measure, Senate Bill 351, introduced by Senator Judy Ward (R-Blair/Fulton), and House Bill 1879, sponsored by Representative Gillespie, will make it a felony to cause bodily harm to a variety of health care workers. This senate bill will make sure your entire health care team is protected in the workplace.
Click here to contact your lawmakers now and ask them to help keep Pennsylvania’s health care workers safe!