Company fined for exposing employees to violence

“These citations reflect a clear and pressing need for employers operating residential care facilities to develop comprehensive and effective programs that proactively address workplace violence situations,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati, in a statement. “Prevention, protection, communication and awareness training are critical to safeguarding caregivers against possible injury in the workplace.”

Camelot Lake accumulated a total of 20 workplace violence cases from 2009-2012, resulting in 53 days away from work and 37 days of restricted duty. Employees have been exposed to physical assaults during routine interaction with residents who have a history of violent behavior.

A serious violation of OSHA’s “general duty clause” involves failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause serious injury or death. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known, the agency states.

Three other violations involve failing to post a summary for lost or restricted work days due to injury or illness during 2011, failing to provide OSHA injury and illness logs upon request for 2009 and 2010, and failure to conduct annual reviews and updates of the company’s bloodborne pathogen program.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was OSHA’s fourth of the facility. None of the previous inspections resulted in citations for workplace violence.

An investigation was initiated March 26 under OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program and a national emphasis program targeting nursing home facilities.

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