OSHA Fines UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital $14,500 Over Workplace Violence
OSHA found that UF Health employees suffered bites, concussions, and broken bones caused by altercations with patients.
Gainesville, Florida – The U.S. Department of Labor has fined the University of Florida Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital for failing to protect its employees from workplace violence after a series of incidents that left employees with serious injuries. The facility is a psychiatric and substance abuse hospital.
An investigation by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics Inc. – operating as UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital – found employees were exposed to serious injuries such as bone fractures and concussions caused by altercations with patients, according to a press release from the department.
OSHA cited the hospital for a serious violation for failing to provide a place of employment free from recognized health and safety hazards which caused or was likely to cause serious physical harm or death. The agency proposed a $14,502 penalty.
“As incidents occur or a pattern of violent behavior is established, employers need to be vigilant about their controls and policies to address physical threats,” said OSHA Area Office Director Scott Tisdale in Jacksonville, Florida. “The safety protocols that Shands agreed to implement can greatly reduce incidents of workplace violence and improve working conditions for their employees.”
Shands Teaching Hospital agreed to:
- Implement mandatory workplace violence training for all employees with direct interactions with patients with a known history of violence.
- Provide unit employees with information about patients’ recent history and their potential for violence during admission, before all shift changes and in post-incident debriefings to increase staff awareness.
- Ensure their workplace violence program includes employee input and participation to assess hazards, controls, prevention strategies, employee education, and incident reporting and investigation.
- Provide employees with personal panic alarms to summon urgent and reliable assistance. Shands will also provide training on the equipment’s use, and will inspect, test and maintain it to make sure the equipment always works.
- Review physical environments in all of the facility’s wings to make sure plexiglass barriers and windows protect workers and make needed improvements. The hospital will also remove items that could be used as a weapon or to obstruct views of the wing, or to access the nurses’ station.
Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century
This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!
Leave a Reply