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Hospital employee assault rates before and after enactment of the California Hospital Safety and Security Act.
Casteel C; Peek-Asa C; Nocera M; Smith JB; Blando J; Goldmacher S; O'Hagan E; Valiante D; Harrison R
Ann Epidemiol 2009 Feb; 19(2):125-133
Purpose: This study examines changes in violent event rates to hospital employees before and after enactment of the California Hospital Safety and Security Act in 1995. Methods: We compared pre- and post-initiative employee assault rates in California (n = 116) emergency departments and psychiatric units with those in New Jersey (n = 50), where statewide workplace violence initiatives do not exist. Poisson regression with generalized estimating equations was used to compare assault rates between a 3-year pre-enactment period (1993-1995) and a 6-year post-enactment period (1996-2001) using New Jersey hospitals as a temporal control. Results: Assault rates among emergency department employees decreased 48% in California post-enactment, compared with emergency department employee assault rates in New Jersey (rate ratio [RR] = 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.31, 0.90). Emergency department employee assault rates decreased in smaller facilities (RR = 0.46, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.96) and for-profit-controlled hospitals (RR = 0.39, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.79) post-enactment. Among psychiatric units, for-profit-controlled hospitals (RR = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.85) and hospitals located in smaller communities (RR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.92) experienced decreased assault rates post-enactment. Conclusion: Policy may be an effective method to increase safety to health care workers.
Violence; Violence prevention; Legislation; Health care facilities; Health care personnel; Health hazards; Injuries; Injury prevention; Medical personnel; Occupational psychology; Occupational safety programs; Psychological factors; Psychological responses; Quantitative analysis; Risk analysis; Risk factors; Safety education; Safety measures; Safety practices; Safety programs; Safety research; Statistical analysis; Training; Work environment; Worker health; Worker motivation; Work organization; Work performance; Workplace monitoring; Workplace studies; Work practices; Demographic characteristics; Author Keywords: Violence; Hospitals; Legislation
Carri Casteel, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Epidemiology, 137 E. Franklin Street, Suite 500, CB 7505, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7505
Issue of Publication
Annals of Epidemiology
IA; NC; NJ; CA
University of Iowa
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division