California rules about violence against health workers could become a model

Workers in California’s hospitals and doctors’ offices may be less likely to get hit, kicked, bitten or grabbed under workplace standards adopted by a state workplace safety board.

Regulators within the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health approved a rule last Thursday that would require hospitals and other employers of health professionals to develop violence prevention protocols and involve workers in the process. The standard now will be reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law, which proponents expect will approve the new rules. The earliest they could take effect would be January 2017.