Workplace Safety Protections

Workplace Safety Protections

Healthcare workers across the country are experiencing a growing rate of incidents of violence against front-line caregivers, including workers in Michigan. Since the onset of COVID-19 in the United States, data shows  violence against hospital employees has markedly increased: 44% of nurses report experiencing physical violence and 68% report experiencing verbal abuse during the pandemic. Michigan hospitals are increasingly focused on ensuring the physical and psychological safety of staff and volunteers, which is vital to continue delivering the highest quality of care.

While the MHA, MHA Keystone Center and Michigan hospitals are partnering to address violence against healthcare workers through trainings and through the work of the MHA Workplace Safety Collaborative, more can be done.

Michigan is one of a diminishing number of states that have not exacted criminal statues specifically addressing assaults on emergency medical providers. Like those currently protected under the Michigan Penal Code, Michigan healthcare workers are not able to turn away those who may become violent. The MHA supports legislation that would extend the same protections to healthcare workers and medical volunteers against physical assault that are currently in place for assaults against first responders, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, people engaged in search-and-rescue operations and emergency service personnel. Such legislation would help augment the measures hospitals are currently using to keep workers safe on the job, including de-escalation training; improved incident tracking and tracking; and changes to physical environments, work practices and administrative procedures.

Assault is not part of our job. It is a crime.Workplace Safety Posters

The MHA has developed workplace safety posters for members to display throughout their facilities communicating the consequences of committing physical harm toward healthcare workers or hospital property. The informational posters are geared toward patients, families and visitors, with a variety of creative options available in two sizes. Complimentary copies of the materials are available to MHA members by request through an online order form. Non-members may purchase materials at cost. Questions about materials may be directed to the MHA.