The full Senate voted in favor of legislation strengthening laws dealing with violence against people who work in hospitals and health care facilities. Senate Bill 1290, the Medical Care Provider Protection Act, by Sen. Darrell Weaver, was approved on Thursday and now moves to the House of Representatives.
Weaver, R-Moore, said nearly 75 percent of all workplace assaults occur in health care with one in four nurses reporting they’d experienced some kind of workplace violence—that’s more than three times higher than all other occupations. He said the goal of SB 1290 is to better protect Oklahoma health care workers.
“In Oklahoma City hospitals alone, there are between five and 10 assaults reported every single day. Attacks on health care workers can result in significant injuries, missed work, PTSD and lower productivity,” Weaver said. “It can also be deadly. Nationwide, at least 58 hospital workers died in 2014 as a result of reported violence in the workplace. It’s clear we need to strengthen our laws to better protect health care workers, raise awareness and increase accountability.”
Provisions included in SB 1290 would:
“SB 1290 will make sure all health care workers are covered by protections related to assaults, whether they’re an ER doctor or nurse, a physical therapist, or even a chaplain. The bill also corrects a disparity in current law to ensure appropriate penalties for these attacks,” Weaver said. “I appreciate the Senate’s support on this measure and look forward to working with my House author, Representative Cynthia Roe, to get this bill all the way to the governor’s desk.”
For more information, contact Sen. Darrell Weaver at 405-521-5569 or email Darrell.Weaver@oksenate.gov.
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