OSHA Cites Healthcare Facility Over Workplace Violence

For the third time in five years, OSHA finds psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities has had workers seriously injured or killed in patient attacks.   June 5, 2024

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor

Workers in all types of institutional and commercial facilities face issues related to workplace violence, but for workers in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, the threat is growing at an alarming pace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate the rate of nonfatal assaults on hospital workers at 8.3 per 10,000 workers, significantly higher than the rate of 2.0 per 10,000 workers in all private sector industries. 

One Florida facility has even repeatedly caught the attention of federal safety investigators. For the third time in five years, an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found the operator of multiple psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities has had workers seriously injured or killed in violent patient attacks, including an employee who suffered serious injuries caused by a patient at a Melbourne location. 

OSHA began an investigation into the Novemb er 2023, incident after Circles of Care Inc. reported the worker's hospitalization two days after a patient used a metal hole punch to strike a mental health technician at a nurse's workstation in the head, face, hands and arms. 

OSHA cited the company with a repeat violation for not providing a workplace free of recognized safety and health hazards — such as workplace violence — at its Sheridan West Unit. The agency found Circles of Care failed to provide sufficient controls to prevent the escalation of acts of aggression toward professional staff.

Dan Hounsell is senior editor for the facilities market. He has more than 30 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 


Read next on FacilitiesNet