The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a hospital in western Pennsylvania, according to WPXI. Officials from OSHA inspected the Armstrong County Memorial Hospital just outside of Kittanning, 40 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, and determined that workers were at risk of physical assaults from mental health patients. Proposed fines total $8,000.
OSHA officials did not release specific details about the investigation or even why it was launched. It is possible that an attack on a hospital employee or an anonymous complaint grabbed the attention of the agency. OSHA noted that the hospital “failed to implement programs and procedures to protect workers from injuries resulting from attacks by patients.”
Officials from Armstrong County Memorial Hospital argued that its facility has a behavioral health unit, which is held to different standards than a forensic psychiatry unit, which would require more safeguards in place.
The bottom line is that OSHA officials believe the hospital was exposing employees to risks of attacks from these patients. The hospital has a responsibility to protect employees from these potential hazards.
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Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys