In the News

Governor Brown Signs SB 1299

Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1299 – Workplace Violence Prevention Plans: Hospitals (Padilla, D-Pacoima). The legislation requires the Cal/OSHA Standards Board to adopt standards to require “specified types of hospitals, including a general acute care hospital or an acute psychiatric hospital, to adopt a workplace violence prevention plan as part of the hospital’s injury and illness prevention plan to protect health care workers and other facility personnel from aggressive and violent behavior” by no later than July 1, 2016.

The bill, while an important step in the right direction, specifically excludes state hospitals, developmental services, and corrections and rehabilitation. It also has a limited definition of workplace violence as being physical force by a patient or a person accompanying a patient. Finally, another important issue is that training is limited only to healthcare workers providing direct patient care. (more…)

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Workers Memorial Day: Renewing the Fight for Safe, Healthy Workplaces

Today is Workers Memorial Day, an annual day of remembrance for those who have been killed, injured, or made sick at work. We deserve a safe and healthful workplace — all of us, regardless of where we work. We are cross posting SEIU Health and Safety Director Mark Catlin’s piece about Workers Memorial Day from the SEIU Blog. Please read it and share it with your co-workers, friends, and family.


Today, April 28, we observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job, been injured or made sick because of workplace hazards. On this solemn day, we also commit to renew our fight for safer and healthier workplaces for all workers. (more…)

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Recent Attacks on Nurses Underscore Need For Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Standard

We are cross posting this from

Two separate and horrific incidents of workplace violence took place on Easter Sunday at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in the Los Angeles area. These incidents speak directly to the need for a comprehensive Cal/OSHA workplace violence prevention standard that covers all healthcare workers in California.

The first attack happened when a man allegedly bypassed the weapons screening area at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar and allegedly stabbed a nurse twenty-two times in her upper body with a knife. She is in critical condition.

Later in the morning, another man walked into Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, grabbed a nurse, and stabbed her in the ear with a pencil. The nurse was treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. (more…)

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Two Nurses Stabbed at L.A. County Hospitals

By Richard Negri, Health and Safety Director, SEIU Local 121RN

We learned of two separate and horrific incidents of workplace violence that happened yesterday at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in the Los Angeles area.

The first attack happened when a man allegedly bypassed the weapons screening area at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar and stabbed a nurse several times in her upper body with a knife. She is in critical condition. (more…)

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Study Finds Culture Change Needed to Reduce Violence Against Healthcare Workers

The Emergency Nurses Association‘s recently published study — “Nothing Changes, Nobody Cares: Understanding the Experience of Emergency Nurses Physically or Verbally Assaulted While Providing Care” — spells out exactly what every healthcare worker has shared with the California Safe Care Standard campaign since its launch: the culture of acceptance about workplace violence prevalent among hospital administrators and law enforcement needs to change. (more…)

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Detroit Area Hospitals Fight to Stem Emergency Room Violence

July 1, 2013

By Karen Bouffard, – ixzz2ZQJcD8Wp

Hospitals in Metro Detroit and across the country are beefing up security to protect their workers from emergency room violence.

ER doctors and nurses are pushed, shoved, hit and even bit, according to recent research, including a six-hospital study by the head of emergency medicine for Beaumont Health System and an ongoing national survey by the Emergency Nurses Association.

Experts cite the large number of mentally ill, intoxicated and drug-addicted patients seen in emergency departments. The ER can be a pressure cooker, and the stress is sometimes exacerbated by overcrowding that can lead to frustrating waits for treatment.   (more…)

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OSHA Cites Health Care Company Whose Social Worker Was Stabbed to Death

June 18, 2013

By Jon Silman

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a health care company whose social worker was stabbed to death in Dade City last year.

OSHA handed Integra Health Management of Owings Mills, Md., two citations with combined fines of $10,500.

Social worker Stephanie Nicole Ross, 25, visited Lucious Smith, 54, at his Coleman Avenue apartment in December. She’d been there several times before, and she was alone during the fatal visit. Her job was to make sure Smith, who was on medication and had a criminal history, was receiving the health care he needed.   (more…)

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Lawmaker Makes Quiet Visit to Napa State Hospital

August 5, 2011

By Lee Romney,

Assemblyman Michael Allen recently spent a day at the facility where a technician was killed last fall. The former psychiatric nurse says he wanted an unvarnished look.

Michael Allen slipped on a pair of blue jeans and a short-sleeved polo shirt, forgoing his customary suit.

On this day, he would not be the Santa Rosa assemblyman who has championed safety at the state’s mental hospitals — documenting the tales of staff members who have been kicked, punched, bitten or splashed with bodily fluids by some of California’s most troubled patients.   (more…)

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Nurse: Folsom Prison Attack Not A Surprise

July 14, 2011

A woman who worked as a nurse inside Folsom State Prison said the sexual assault of a nurse inside the facility is a symptom of a much larger problem.

Old Folsom Prison has been locked down since a woman was attacked Wednesday afternoon, and investigators have not identified any inmates who may have been responsible for the incident.

An insider who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution said staff is often in danger thanks to “the Folsom Way,” unwritten rules she said often leaves inmates in nurses’ care without officers and denies inmates some medical treatments.   (more…)

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Unions Revive Push on Safety at Psychiatric Hospitals

July 6, 2011

By Paresh Dave,

A coalition of state hospital workers’ unions today is reviving its call for the state to address safety concerns at Department of Mental Health hospitals.

Four labor unions joined together to form the Safety Now! Coalition after the death of hospital psychiatric technician Donna Gross in October. They staged a protest in March outside the Napa facility where Gross died. This morning, the group is scheduled to protest outside Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, saying that safety measures need to be put in place to protect workers and patients at all five state hospitals.   (more…)

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