Safe Jobs Now: A national postcard action to address workplace violence in health care and social services is underway

“There is an incident nearly every week at my hospital that ranges from slapping to punching to broken bones. I am a big guy, but one time I was trying to change the wet bed of a male patient when he became agitated and broke my arm. I was out of work for weeks.”

“My daughter was hurt by a patient. She was hit and punched while trying to keep him from hurting other patients. She had to have a disc in her neck replaced because of it.”

“I was stabbed at work by a patient.”

These stories happen too often for the tens of thousands of nurses, support staff, home care workers, behavioral health staff, emergency medical technicians, and others in our union who work in health care and social services. While workplace violence is a serious and growing problem for all workers, incidents in these industries have far outpaced any other. A lack of preventative measures combined with the increasingly profit-driven nature of health care is resulting in problems like unsafe staffing levels that contribute to the trend.

This foreseeable and preventable problem impacts anyone who works directly in health care or social services, anyone who is a patient, and anyone who visits or accompanies a patient. Given that workplace violence compromises quality of care, everyone is ultimately impacted.

This is why we are launching a nationwide action to push for the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309/S. 851). This bill would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to ensure these workplaces develop and implement violence prevention plans.

Resources for the Postcard Action

Packages of postcards directed to U.S. Senators and the Secretary of Labor were mailed to all Local Union Presidents along with instructions.* Please circulate the postcards in your workplace, then return them to Rapid Response (instructions in the link below). This is a solvable problem, but it will take action like this to get it done.

Click here for printable versions to share in your workplace in English | Spanish

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222