Recent Illinois Act Requires Health Care Providers to Institute Violence Prevention Measures

February 11, 2019

Health care providers operating in Illinois are now subject to new obligations under the Health Care Violence Prevention Act (HCVPA). The HCVPA establishes both preventive and curative measures to protect health care workers. Health care providers are required to create a workplace violence prevention program. Each program must include: descriptions of the four classifications of workplace violence under the HCVPA; commitment by management and health care worker participation; worksite analysis and identification of potential hazards; hazard prevention and control; safety and health training; and recordkeeping and evaluation of the violence prevention program. Hospitals and retail health care facilities are also required to provide resources to workers harmed by patients or their associates. Under the HCVPA’s guidelines, workers directly involved in an incident of workplace violence caused by a patients or their visitors have a right to employer-provided services, including acute treatment and access to psychological evaluation. Additionally, employers of health care workers must post notices in their facilities that detail zero tolerance for verbal aggression or physical assault. Notices must also inform violators that any physical assault will be reported to law enforcement. A whistleblower provision further protects employees seeking to ensure the Act is enforced. SESCO is available to assist in the creation of and delivery of training required by state law.