Protect Hospital Caregivers from Workplace Violence

Violence against hospital workers has been on the rise for some time but has significantly accelerated since the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care professionals keep all of us safe. We need to return the favor. Violence against health care workers is never acceptable.

Violence against health care workers is increasing.

  • 90% of health care workers experienced or witnessed violence from a patient or patient’s caregiver in one month1.
  • Hospital workers are six times (6x) more likely to be injured than other private sector workers1.
  • Health care workers make up 12% of total employment2, but suffered 73% of all nonfatal workplace injuries due to workplace violence3.

Simple assault is defined by the FBI as an unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury.

Workplace Violence has severe consequences for patients and the health care system.

  • Violent exchanges tie up valuable resources and can delay urgently needed care for other patients4.
  • Workplace violence is exacerbating Kentucky’s health care worker shortage. Repeated trauma from violence, health care workers are leaving the field. Kentucky is already expected to be short 5,790 registered nurses and 3,190 LPNs by 2035, so the time to act is now.
Implement Enhanced Penalties for Assault Against All Hospital Staff.
Patients deserve a safe place to receive quality care.
Health care workers deserve a safe workplace to provide it.


James C. Musser
KHA Senior Vice President
Policy and Government Relations
(502) 593-2339

2 Kaiser Family Foundation, Health Care Employment as a percent of Total Employment, 2022.
3 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) 2018. Workplace Violence In Healthcare.
4 (American Hospital Association, 2022), Fact Sheet: Health Care Workplace violence and Intimidation, and the Need for a Federal Legislative Response.