YOUR LETTERS: Keep our healthcare workers safe

Our healthcare workers put their lives on the line daily to care for others—but who cares for them? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is tasked with keeping workers safe on the job, but to do that, Congress must increase funding for OSHA and include the House-passed Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1195) in any final spending bill.

A new American Federation of Teachers (AFT) report on healthcare staffing shows that “healthcare and social services workers experience 76 percent of all reported workplace violence injuries in the American labor force” and that “the rate of reported assaults grew by 144 percent in hospitals and 63 percent in home health agencies from 2006 through 2020.” Tragically, our AFT members experience this firsthand. Recently, an AFT healthcare worker was shot to death during a home visit with an elderly couple.

Ignoring this crisis will only exacerbate the dire healthcare worker shortages we already face. We owe it to our healthcare workers, and the patients they serve, to keep them safe on the job. Write to your lawmakers now.

American Federation of Teachers

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