Bill Introduced in Senate to Address Violence Against Healthcare Workers
Posted on February 08, 2019
On Feb. 5, a bipartisan group of senators introduced Senate Bill (SB) 80, which would increase the penalties for those committing assault against emergency department personnel. Similar enhanced penalties for assault are currently in place to help protect police officers, paramedics and other first responders in Michigan.
Violence against healthcare workers is becoming an increasingly large problem in hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the country. According to 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers in the healthcare and social assistance sector experienced violence-related injuries in the workplace at a rate more than four times higher than the rate for workers in the private sector overall. A safe environment for both patients and healthcare professionals is vital for Michigan hospitals to continue delivering the highest quality of care.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth), introduced similar legislation last term that was supported by the MHA but never reached a vote on the Senate floor. The MHA has been a longtime advocate of bills to enhance hospital employee and volunteer safety and supports SB 80, but would like to see the additional protections called for in the legislation extended to all hospital personnel rather than just emergency department workers.
A timeline for movement on this bill has not been set. For more information, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Top Issues - Healthcare