Bill Would Improve Safety for Massachusetts Social Workers

January 3, 2013

Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a bill designed to improve workplace safety for social workers.

The bill requires the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to create a workplace violence prevention and crisis response plan for social workers, human service workers, volunteers, and other employees of programs providing direct services to clients.

The bill requires each plan to take into account a number of possible workplace safety issues including working outside normal business hours; working alone; working with people in crisis; and working with people with known histories of violent behavior.

Each program would be required to record all incidents of workplace violence or threats of violence, prepare violence prevention and crisis response plans, and maintain a violence prevention and response team.

The bill now heads to Gov. Deval Patrick.

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