The Twenty-First Century Jungle: California Nurses Organize to Save Themselves

Source: Mariya Strauss, New Labor Forum, Vol. 24 no. 3, Fall 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
When one had to work a shift in a factory, a mine, or a steel mill in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there was an ever-present sense of physical danger. Nowadays, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and MSHA standards exist to allow those agencies to enforce safety rules and protect such industrial workers from the most grievous physical harms.

But the service-oriented health care workplace, which now employs one out of every eight U.S. workers, has in some ways come to resemble the industrial shop floors of old. Health care workers say that they go to work every day not knowing if they will make it home to their families. The danger—still unregulated by OSHA in any state—is workplace violence. The threat can come from random people walking through the door; but increasingly, these workers also face violence from the patients they treat….