Workplace Violence

Actions You Should Take if Assaulted at Work

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 75 percent of nearly 25,000 workplace assaults reported annually occur in healthcare and social service settings. The Security Industry Associaon reports that workers in healthcare settings are four times more likely to be victimized than workers in private industry.


Get help. Get to a safe area.


Call 911 for police assistance. Inform responding officer you will require a copy of the report. (It is your civil right to call police).


Get relieved of your assignment.


Get medical attention. Go to the ED ASAP. Follow up with your PCP ASAP.


Take photographs of your injuries.


Report the assault to your supervisor and union.


Identify and ask for witness statements.


Request a referral from your PCP for counseling regarding the assault.


File charges with the Local or State Police or Court Magistrate. (It is your civil right to file charges.)


Get copies of all reports (medical, police and workplace) and keep a detailed diary of events, including your emotions and fears.


Consult with attorneys. You may need advice related to Workers’ Compensaon, accidental disability, retirement, etc.


Have your attorney deal with your employer’s Human Resources Department. Return to work only when you feel safe and supported and on the advice of your attorney.

An Act Requiring Health Care Employers to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence

Nurses and healthcare workers are assaulted on the job more than police officers and prison guards, with more than 70% of hospital emergency department nurses reporting being assaulted during their career. This bill would require healthcare employers to perform an annual safety risk assessment and, based on those findings, develop and implement programs to minimize the danger of workplace violence to employees and paents.

Bill language can be found online at:  and

Permission granted to reprint with acknowledgement
Massachusetts Nurses Association • Workplace Violence and Abuse Prevention Task Force • Updated on 1/23/20