Health facility cited for exposing workers to serious workplace hazards

Health facility cited for exposing workers to serious workplace hazards Photo: Pixabay

A behavioral health facility in Massachusetts is facing $207,690 in proposed penalties from OSHA for several violations uncovered during an inspection.

The company was issued a notification for failure to abate violation involving workplace violence on June 29, 2017. This follows a serious violation related to the same hazards that federal safety and health inspectors found on May 19, 2015. Because of the 2015 inspection, the company and OSHA entered into a Formal Settlement Agreement on April 12, 2016, which outlined specific provisions of a workplace violence prevention program.

A follow-up inspection was conducted early this year after the facility failed to provide documentation to show that it had implemented a workplace violence program. The agency’s Andover area office received a complaint alleging employees remained at risk.

OSHA found the facility failed to comply with multiple terms of its agreement, and that – despite previous citations and worker injuries, the risk for workers to suffer fatal injury or serious harm still existed. The company was also cited for one repeat violation and three other-than-serious violations related to recordkeeping.

“Our inspectors found that employees throughout the Lowell Treatment Center continued to be exposed to incidents of workplace violence that could have been greatly reduced had the employer fully implemented the settlement agreement,” said Galen Blanton, OSHA’s regional administrator in Boston.”