One of the country's largest hospitals recently was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after eight health care workers were threatened or violently assaulted in a three-month period. An OSHA press release states that an investigation at Bergen Regional Medical Center in New Jersey began after a worker filed a complaint.
Bergen Regional Medical Center, along with being one of the biggest hospitals in America, also provides long-term and behavioral health care and is one of the state's most expansive licensed nursing home facilities. It faces $13,600 in proposed fines for one repeated citation. This violation is because the hospital did not properly record worksite injuries on the correct OSHA illness and injury reporting form.
Some of the workplace incidents affecting these eight workers included many employees being bitten, kicked, punched and threatened by patients. Furthermore, some employees reported to having been barricaded into a room and exposed to bloodborne pathogens.
"Bergen Regional Medical Center's management recognized workplace hazards, but lacked adequate procedures to prevent employee exposure," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "With so many incidents, it's clear that this facility's workplace violence program is ineffective and should be improved immediately to protect employees and ensure a safe workplace."
OSHA has provided guidelines for social and health services workers to eradicate workplace violence, which can be found here. Bergen Regional Medical Center has already requested a conference with the agency after being issued the citation.
To keep your workers from being exposed to workplace hazards, contact IndustrySafe today about our how environmental, health and safety management software can help you. Visit our website to learn more about how we can keep your company OSHA compliant.