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OSHA Meeting Highlights Potential Need for Workplace Violence National Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking comments on a national standard to prevent workplace violence in healthcare and social service settings. As part of its request for information (RFI), members of the Emergency Nurses Association testified about workplace violence in the emergency department during an OSHA meeting on Jan. 10. The public meeting allowed employees, employers and other stakeholders to provide testimony describing their experiences with workplace violence. The meeting also included a discussion among stakeholders on strategies and tactics to prevent and respond to workplace violence.

Several major themes arose during the meeting: the culture of violence is pervasive and needs to change; workplace violence can happen to anyone, anytime, and anywhere; how workplace violence is defined is important; and better training is needed for staff at all levels. The comment period for the RFI is open until April 6. Submissions can be made electronically, by FAX or by regular mail. Go to for more information.