Healthcare News & Insights

OSHA cites hospital over series of violent attacks by patients

Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, has been cited by OSHA after employees were injured 25 times in the past five years by violent patients.

The OSHA inspection was in response to worker complaints about an unsafe environment. The agency found that the hospital had committed a serious violation of the general duty clause for failing to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards.

Most of the incidents took place in the psychiatric, emergency and general medicine wards.

Among the corrections OSHA suggested:

  • Create a written standalone violence prevention program for all hospital staff. The program should include threat assessments, controls and prevention strategies; staff training and incident reporting.
  • Provide security staffers trained to deal with violent or aggressive patients. Security should be immediately available.
  • Screen all psychiatric patients for potential violent behavior and flag those with a history of violence.
  • Ensure that employees aren’t left alone with potentially violent patients in the psychiatric ward.

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