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DOL/OSHA RIN: 1218-AD08 Publication ID: Spring 2017 
Title: Prevention of Workplace Violence in Health Care and Social Assistance 

The Request for Information (RFI) (published on December 7, 2016) provides OSHA's history with the issue of workplace violence in healthcare, including a discussion of the Guidelines that were initially published in 1996, a 2014 update to the Guidelines, and the recently published tools and strategies that were shared with OSHA by healthcare facilities with effective violence prevention programs. It will also discuss the Agency's use of 5(a)(1) in enforcement cases in healthcare. The RFI solicits information primarily from health care employers, workers and other subject matter experts on impacts of violence, prevention strategies, and other information that will be useful to the Agency if it decides to move forward in rulemaking. OSHA will also solicit information from stakeholders, including state officials, employers and workers, in the nine states that require certain healthcare facilities to have some type of workplace violence prevention program.  The agency has been petitioned for a standard preventing workplace violence in healthcare by a broad coalition of labor unions, and in a separate petition by the National Nurses United.  On January 10, 2017, OSHA granted the petition.

Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Long-Term Actions 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: Not Yet Determined   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

Workplace violence is a widespread problem, and there is growing recognition that workers in healthcare occupations face unique risks and challenges. In 2013, the rate of serious workplace violence incidents (those requiring days off for an injured worker to recuperate) was more than four times greater in healthcare than in private industry on average. Healthcare accounts for nearly as many serious violent injuries as all other industries combined. Workplace violence comes at a high cost. It harms workers often both physically and emotionally and makes it more difficult for them to do their jobs.

In 2013, 80 percent of serious violent incidents reported in healthcare settings were caused by interactions with patients. Other incidents were caused by visitors, coworkers, or other people. Some medical professions and settings are more at risk than others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 psychiatric aides experienced the highest rate of violent injuries that resulted in days away from work, at approximately 590 injuries per 10,000 full-time employees (FTEs). This rate is more than 10 times higher than the next group, nursing assistants (about 55 violent injuries per 10,000 FTEs, and registered nurses (about 14 violent injuries per 10,000 FTEs), compared with a rate of 4.2 violent injuries per 10,000 FTEs in U.S. private industry as a whole. High-risk areas include emergency departments, geriatrics, and behavioral health, among others.

Summary of the Legal Basis:


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:


Action Date FR Cite
Request For Information (RFI)  12/07/2016  81 FR 88147   
RFI Comment Period End  04/06/2017 
Next Action Undetermined  To Be Determined 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
William Perry
Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW., FP Building, Room N-3718,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 693-1950
Fax:202 693-1678