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Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and PensionsIntroducedOctober 15th, 2009
- senate Committees
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Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2009
A bill to direct the Secretary of Labor to issue an occupational safety and health standard to reduce injuries to patients, direct-care registered nurses, and all other health care workers by establishing a safe patient handling and injury prevention standard, and for other purposes.
Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2009 - Requires the Secretary of Labor to propose a standard on safe patient handling and injury prevention to prevent musculoskeletal disorders for direct-care registered nurses and all other health care workers that requires the use of engineering controls to lift patients and the elimination of manual lifting of patients through the use of mechanical devices, except where patient care may be compromised. Requires health care employers to: (1) develop and implement a safe patient handling and injury prevention plan; (2) provide their workers with training on safe patient handling and injury prevention; and (3) post a uniform notice that explains the standard and the procedures to report patient handling-related injuries. Requires the Secretary to conduct unscheduled inspections to ensure compliance with safety standards. Allows health care workers to: (1) refuse to accept an assignment in a health care facility that violates safety standards or for which such worker has not received required training; and (2) file complaints against employers who violate this Act. Prohibits employers from taking adverse actions against any health care worker who in good faith reports a violation, participates in an investigation or proceeding, or discusses violations. Authorizes health care workers who have been discharged, discriminated, or retaliated against in violation of this Act to bring legal action for reinstatement, reimbursement of lost compensation, attorneys' fees, court costs, and other damages. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a grant program for purchasing safe patient handling and injury prevention equipment for health care facilities.