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DOL/OSHA RIN: 1218-AD08 Publication ID: Fall 2021 
Title: Prevention of Workplace Violence in Health Care and Social Assistance 
Abstract:

The Request for Information (RFI) (published on December 7, 2016 81 FR 88147)) provides OSHA's history with the issue of workplace violence in health care and social assistance, including a discussion of the Guidelines that were initially published in 1996, a 2014 update to the Guidelines, the agency's use of 5(a)(1) in enforcement cases in health care. The RFI solicited 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. OSHA was petitioned for a standard preventing workplace violence in health care by a broad coalition of labor unions, and in a separate petition by the National Nurses United.  On January 10, 2017, OSHA granted the petitions.  OSHA is preparing for SBREFA.

 
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Prerule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 29 U.S.C. 655(b)    5 U.S.C. 609   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

Workplace violence is a widespread problem, and there is growing recognition that workers in healthcare and social service occupations face unique risks and challenges. In 2018, the rate of serious workplace violence incidents (those requiring days off for an injured worker to recuperate) was more than five times greater in these occupations than in private industry on average, with both the number and share of incidents rising faster in these professions than among other workers.

Healthcare and social services account 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. 

Workers in some medical and social service settings are more at risk than others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 workers at psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals experienced the highest rate of violent injuries that resulted in days away from work, at approximately 125 injuries per10,000 full-time employees (FTEs). This is about 6 times the rate for workers at nursing and residential care facilities (21.1/10,000). But even workers involved in ambulatory care, while less likely than other healthcare workers to experience violent injuries, were 1.5 times as likely as workers outside of healthcare to do so.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 authorizes the Secretary of Labor to set mandatory occupational safety and health standards to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women (29 U.S.C. 651).

Alternatives:

One alternative to proposed rulemaking would be to take no regulatory action.  As OSHA develops more information, it will also make decisions relating to the scope of the standard and the requirements it may impose.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The estimates of costs and benefits are still under development.

Risks:

Analysis of risks is still under development.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Request for Information (RFI)  12/07/2016  81 FR 88147   
RFI Comment Period End  04/06/2017 
Initiate SBREFA  12/00/2021 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Local, State 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions, Organizations  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Andrew Levinson
Deputy 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
Email: levinson.andrew@dol.gov