Congresswoman Nikema Williams Statement on the Passage of H.R. 1195, The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) issued the following statement after passing H.R. 1195, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. The bipartisan bill will lead to the development of federal standards to ensure that health care and social service employers develop plans to protect their staff, prevent and improve the response to workplace violence, and address existing barriers to reporting.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that health care and social service workers are the backbone of this country,” said Congresswoman Williams. “Despite their importance, there has been no federal standard to prevent violence against caregivers who suffer workplace violence injuries at far higher rates than any other profession. I will always stand up for the rights and protections of hard-working people, and I am proud to have voted for this commonsense legislation.”
A 2016 Government Accountability Office study reported that rates of violence against health care workers are up to 12 times higher than rates for the overall workforce. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that health care and social service workers were nearly five times as likely to suffer a serious workplace violence injury than workers in other sectors, and that healthcare workers accounted for 73 percent of such injuries. In 2017, state government health care and social service workers were almost nine times more likely to be injured by an assault than private-sector health care workers.