Last August, a relative carrying a firearm and two clips on his waist came to visit a patient at Providence Hospital in Northeast DC. “The patient and the armed man starting arguing, which scared the nurses,” testified Registered Nurse Jonathan Lee yesterday. “We were worried because mass shootings happen very often in this day and age.” While the situation was eventually resolved, Lee said that “I have yet to see a written policy on workplace violence at Providence Hospital.” Incidents like that are why Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels yesterday – on his last day in office -- announced that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be granting a petition by unions -- including AFSCME, AFT and National Nurses United -- for a standard to prevent workplace violence in healthcare settings. NNU petitioned for such a standard in July of 2016. Lee joined other NNU members from across the country testifying yesterday at the OSHA public stakeholder meeting on workplace violence in Washington, D.C. "Such regulations are vital to protecting nurses and other healthcare workers, as well as their patients, from the epidemic of workplace violence across the US," said NNU Health and Safety Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. OSHA's rulemaking process will now begin.
photo by NNU Twitter
1/13: This post has been updated to reflect that the petition was by a number of unions.