As reports of health care workers being attacked by patients continue to grow, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) will be host to a virtual symposium October 19-21 on how to address the risk and hazards healthcare workers and their employers deal with every day, according to an ASSE press release.

The ASSEOccupational Safety in the Healthcare Industryvirtual symposium will feature the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Administrator Dr. John Howard as the keynote speaker. Also featured will be speakers from the Social Security Administration, Christiana Care Health Systems, Department of Veterans Affairs, Lockton Companies, California Pacific Medical Center, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Carolinas HealthCare System Corporate Security, ECRI, and the University of Louisville Hospital as they share solutions and approaches one can use to enhance safety in a healthcare setting.

ASSE members note that safety in a healthcare setting is unique when compared to other industries as unlike other fields where workers may have only occasional contact with customers they work with their customers daily. In the healthcare industry, the customer can be the hazard, members say.

The virtual symposium will feature several topics including patient handling, emergency preparedness and general safety concerns particular to a healthcare environment. Speakers will discuss ways to reduce injuries associated with patient handling; methods for reducing exposure to infectious disease; strategies for preventing violence in the workplace; how to prepare and respond to emergency situations unique to the healthcare environment; and, best practices around the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) unique to the healthcare setting.

During the three-day live learning ASSE virtual symposium, attendees can view and listen to sessions live, chat with speakers and earn CEUs, all from a computer. All sessions are recorded and will be available to view at any time with a computer and a connection to the internet. In addition, the ASSE virtual symposium is built around a social networking system, accessible only to speakers and registered attendees and provides session slides, e-books, articles and proceedings papers, along with a variety of different supplemental learning materials that pertain to the symposium theme. Attendees can earn 1.0 CEUs. The symposium also provides a virtual expo where attendees can browse through a variety of vendor products and services.

To register go to