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Workplace violence bill would require hospitals to meet OSHA safety standards

February 28, 2019 / Tina Reed

Psychiatric nurse Barbara Walsh's brush with workplace violence is harrowing. Seven years ago, co-workers found her semiconscious on the ground after she'd been attacked by a patient during her shift in a New Jersey hospital. Her traumatic brain injury caused her to miss three months of work and left her with lingering headaches and speech problems. Only days after she returned to work, she was attacked by another patient. "My story is not an isolated one," said Walsh, who was speaking on a press call Wednesday to advocate for a new workplace violence bill introduced last week. Sponsored by Congressman Joe Courtney, D-CT, the bill (H.R. 1309) would require healthcare and social service employers to implement workplace violence prevention plans that would be enforceable by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).