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Texas Requires Workplace Violence Prevention Plan and Policy for Healthcare Facilities 

By September 1, 2024, Texas requires certain healthcare facilities to adopt, implement, and enforce a written workplace violence prevention policy and a written workplace violence prevention plan. Covered facilities include: 

  • A home and community support services agency licensed to provide home health services that employ at least two registered nurses; 
  • A hospital; 
  • A nursing facility that employs at least two registered nurses; 
  • An ambulatory surgical center; 
  • A freestanding emergency medical care facility; or 
  • A mental hospital. 

Written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan 

The plan must: 

  • Be based on the practice setting; 
  • Adopt a definition of workplace violence that includes:
    • An act or threat of physical force against a health care provider or employee that results in, or is likely to result in, physical injury or psychological trauma; and 
    • An incident involving the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, regardless of whether a health care provider or employee is injured by the weapon; 
  • Require the facility to provide, at least annually, workplace violence prevention training or education to the facility’s health care providers and employees who provide direct patient care;
    • This training or education may be included in other required training or education; 
  • Prescribe a system for responding to and investigating violent incidents or potentially violent incidents at the facility; 
  • Address physical security and safety; 
  • Require the facility to solicit information from health care providers and employees when developing and implementing a workplace violence prevention plan; 
  • Allow healthcare providers and employees to report incidents of workplace violence through the facility’s existing occurrence reporting systems; and 
  • Require the facility to adjust patient care assignments, to the extent practicable, to prevent a health care provider or employee of the facility from treating or providing services to a patient who has intentionally physically abused or threatened the provider or employee. 

The written plan may satisfy these requirements by referencing other internal facility policies and documents. 

Workplace Violence Committee 

Covered facilities must also establish workplace violence prevention committees and respond to incidents of workplace violence in specified ways. The committee must include at least one registered nurse who provides direct care to patients of the facility; one licensed physician who provides direct care to patients of the facility, unless the facility does not have a physician on staff; and one facility employee who provides security services for the facility, if any and if practicable. At least annually, the committee must review and evaluate the workplace violence prevention plan and report the results of the evaluation to the governing body of the facility. 

A health care system that owns or operates more than one facility may establish a single committee for all of the system’s facilities if the committee develops a violence prevention plan for implementation at each facility in the system and data related to violence prevention remains distinctly identifiable for each facility in the system. 

Additional Information  

The law also contains non-discrimination and non-retaliation provisions for those who report concerns or incidents in good faith. 

Next Steps 

Covered employers should review and become familiar with the required elements of a WVPP including: 

  • Identifying potential risks specific to their facility. 
  • Establishing clear reporting procedures.  
  • Providing training for employees on recognizing and responding to warning signs and developing a response plan for violent incidents.   
  • Ensuring everyone understands their role in preventing and responding to workplace violence and how to utilize the company’s WVPP. 
  • Establishing a process for maintaining documentation of incidents, training, and planning for updates. 

It is unclear if the state intends to provide a model plan or other templates for compliance. However, the Workplace Violence Toolkit from the Texas Hospital Association may be used as a reference for the development of a plan. Covered facilities should also work with their legal counsel to ensure that their plan meets the requirements of the law and is specifically tailored to their facility. 

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.