OSHA News Release - Table of Contents|
Region 1 News Release: 11-115-BOS / BOS 2011-028
Jan. 28, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites The Acadia Hospital in
Bangor, Maine, for inadequate workplace violence safeguards
BANGOR, Maine – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited The Acadia Hospital in Bangor for failing to provide its employees with adequate safeguards against workplace violence. OSHA's action follows an inspection begun in July 2010 in response to worker complaints.
OSHA's inspection identified at least 115 instances between 2008 and 2010 in which employees of the psychiatric hospital and clinic were assaulted on the job by violent patients. As a result, OSHA has cited the hospital for an alleged serious violation of the agency's general duty clause for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious injury, along with six other-than-serious citations.
"The serious citation points to the clear and pressing need for the hospital to develop a comprehensive, continuous and effective program that will proactively evaluate, identify and prevent conditions that place workers in harm's way," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator.
OSHA's serious citation includes several suggested means of abatement that the hospital can pursue to address the workplace violence issue. These include:
"Workplace violence is a serious issue affecting many workers and employers across this nation, but it is one that can be addressed if employers take systematic, thorough and continual action," said Kent.
The serious citation carries a proposed fine of $6,300. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
The six other-than-serious citations, with a total of $5,400 in fines, are for inadequate or incomplete recording of workplace injuries or illnesses. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The Acadia Hospital has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Bangor District Office; telephone 207-941-8177.
OSHA's "Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers" is available online at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3148/osha3148.html. Additional information on workplace violence is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/index.html.
To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
|OSHA News Release - Table of Contents|
The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.