May 2, 2016
OSHA cites residential facility for exposing employees to workplace violence
Employer name: Integrated Life Choices Inc.
Citations issued: April 29, 2016
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued one serious and one other than serious violations to the residential health care facility for exposing employees to hazards related to workplace violence.
The citations follow an October 2015 OSHA investigation by the agency's Omaha Area Office that found agitated clients have bitten, scratched, kicked and thrown objects at staff members. The client's aggression exceeded the threshold of training workers had received to deal with potential violent clients and compromised their personal safety and ability to control the situation.
A review of injury logs from January 2012 through November 2015, recorded 105 incidents of workplace violence at the facility.
OSHA has guidelines for preventing workplace violence for health care and social workers.
Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide.
Quote: "Professionals who provide compassionate care for developmentally challenged citizens deserve to be protected on the job," said Jeff Funke, OSHA's area director in Omaha. These workers routinely cope with stressful situations. Their employer must use common-sense safety measures so they can continue to provide care to those in need and stay safe while they do so."
Proposed Penalties: $12,000
View Citations here.
Integrated Life Choices Inc. provides support for developmentally challenged clients to participate in society at residential treatment facilities.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Omaha Area Office at 402- 553-0171.
Release Number: 16-771-KAN
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).