A bill that would require California hospitals to develop workplace violence prevention plans will be heard in a state Senate Committee Monday. The bill is in response to increasing numbers of violent incidents at hospitals and mental health facilities.
Last month, a man fired a gun in a Bay Area hospital and two nurses were stabbed in separate incidents in Los Angeles hospitals.
Bonnie Castillo with the California Nurses Association says SB 1299 would make hospitals improve security staffing levels and weapons screening programs.
“It’s critical that we address these now at a time where we’re seeing increased incidences throughout hospitals all throughout California,” says Castillo.
The California Hospital Association’s Jan Emerson-Shea says the legislation is unnecessary because “current law gives the hospitals the flexibility necessary to develop a plan that meets their particular, unique needs.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a healthcare worker is five times more likely than other workers to be assaulted at work.