COLUMBUS—State Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) applauded the House passage of legislation he sponsored that prevents Ohio nurses from being forced to work mandatory overtime. Introduced in December of 2017, House Bill 456 seeks to protect nurses from being compelled to work overtime shifts under threat of discontinued employment or disciplinary action.
Members of the Ohio House today favorably passed a slate of bills that impact constituents of the 83rd House District and residents across the state, demonstrating that the House is committed to getting back to work and focused on meaningful legislation. Outside of stipulated situations, such as local healthcare disasters or amidst a surgical procedure, House Bill 456 allows nurses to choose whether they are fit, physically and mentally, to work unscheduled overtime. In addition, the bill specifies that a hospital can maintain an on-call system and summon a nurse to work while on-call if needed.
The bill was drafted in response to reports that many Ohio nurses are often forced to commit to overtime hours, working upwards of 12-hour days with very little time to sleep and recover. This puts nurses at risk for extreme fatigue, leading to such tragedies as life-threatening mistakes on the job or falling asleep at the wheel. According to the American Nurses Association’s Health Risk Appraisal, 57 percent of the over-10,000 surveyed admitted to working extra hours to handle their workload, and 82 percent said workplace stress is their biggest personal health risk.
“Too many nurses today are suffering from overwork and burnout. When an exhausted nurse is forced to work unplanned, additional shifts, it puts patients at risk,” said Sprague. “House Bill 456 fixes that. We all want to ensure the highest levels of patient care and this legislation is the direct result of our Ohio hospitals and nurses coming together to achieve that goal.”
This legislation aims to improve patient safety and care, especially during standard day-to-day operations at hospitals.
House Bill 456 now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.