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D.C. Cir. Considers OSHA Authority in Workplace Violence

Jan. 9, 2020, 8:26 PM

D.C. Circuit judges are considering how far worker safety regulators can go when telling a psychiatric hospital which measures are required to protect nurses and other staff members from patient attacks.

OSHA’s role in preventing workplace violence is among the agency’s most contentious issues. The agency doesn’t have a specific rule covering workplace violence prevention measures. Instead, OSHA depends on a provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the general duty clause, to cite employers for safety violations.

At a Jan. 9 hearing, the hospital’s attorney compared the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s efforts to police officers enforcing a...

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