OSHA Developing Potential Standard on Prevention of Workplace Violence in Health Care and Social Assistance

AHCA/NCAL Updates; Regulations; Advocacy; OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is in the early stages of developing a potential standard, Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance. OSHA believes this rule to be necessary due to evidence indicating that employees in this sector face a substantially increased risk of injury due to workplace violence.  This standard would apply to employers across the health care and social assistance fields, includin​g skilled nursing facilities, ID/DD providers,​​ and assisted living communities.   

OSHA has initiated the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) process as the agency considers promulgating this new standard. Under the SBREFA process, OSHA has convened a panel to provide feedback and offer recommendations about how to make it more cost-effective and less burdensome. Two AHCA/NCAL members are participating on the panels.  ​

AHCA/NCAL will also submit written comments with the overarching themes of the comments to be:   

  • We support efforts to ensure health care employees are protected from workplace violence. However, we have significant concerns that the standard is more expansive and prescriptive than necessary.   

  • This standard must be modified to reduce prescriptive elements and recognize existing actions providers are taking that meet intent and purpose of the standard.  

  • The proposed Workplace Violence (WPV) standard should be compared to all existing CMS regulations, including those that govern incident reporting, facility assessment, residents who are a risk to others, visitation, residents’ rights, behavioral health, care planning, transfer & discharges and life safety to ensure there are no conflicts between regulations written to protect residents and regulations being drafted to protect employees.  

  • OSHA needs to provide adequate resources to help facilities of all sizes   

While OSHA has no legal obligation to consider or respond to comments from those outside the panel discussions, the Agency will consider them in its discretion as resources allow.   
Comments can be submitted to OSHA docket OSHA-2016-0014 via the government's e-regulatory portal, Regulations.gov​. The comment period closes on April 7, 2023.