A behavioral health care facility in Massachusetts is facing a proposed $207,690 penalty for violations discovered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) during an inspection. UHS of Westwood Pembroke, Inc., which conducts business under the name Lowell Treatment Center, was issued a notification for failing to respond properly to incidents of workplace violence. The June 2017 notification followed a serious violation of a similar nature discovered by inspectors in May of 2015.
The 2015 violations resulted in the creation of a Formal Settlement Agreement in 2016 between OSHA and the facility. The agreement established a workplace violence prevention program, providing specific provisions or how the program should be implemented at the facility. Unfortunately, Lowell Treatment Center didn’t hold up its end of the bargain, failing to comply with requests for documentation showing that it had implemented the program. In addition, OSHA officials received a complaint that employees were still at risk. In response, the agency conducted a follow-up inspection on January 5, 2017. A Boston work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured on the job.
Employees are Still at Risk
During the inspection, OSHA discovered multiple violations, and that the facility had failed to comply with several aspects of its established agreement. ”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, Boston’s regional administrator for OSHA. A MA work injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured in a work-related accident.
The Lowell Treatment Center is a 41-bed psychiatric hospital for adults and adolescents, and the UHS network is one of the largest health-care management companies in the country. UHS has notified OSHA that it intends to contest the agencies findings.
Common OSHA Violations
OSHA exists to enforce standards for safe working conditions, and to provide related training, outreach and assistance. In 2015, OSHA released its most recent top 10 list for frequently cited violations. These were:
- Fall protection: Different fall protection systems are required for different jobs and situations.
- Hazard communication: Employers are required to create a program for informing workers of on-the-job chemical hazards.
- Scaffoldings: Having a competent person in charge of compliance and supervision is essential to scaffolding safety.
- Respiratory protection: Toxic gases and fumes can make any workplace deadly without proper respiratory protection.
- Lockout / Tagout : Workers can be killed when servicing equipment that starts unexpectedly. Lockout / tagout practices should be implemented to control the unexpected release of energy in machines.
- Powered industrial trucks: These include forklifts, order pickers, and stand-up rider lift trucks.
- Ladders: OSHA requires that ladders are well maintained to prevent structural defects and wear and tear, and that ladders are only used for their intended purpose.
- Methods of electrical wiring: OSHA has established strict electrical standards to protect workers who are exposed to the dangers of electric shock, electrocution, explosions, and
- Machine guarding: This general guarding standard also requires that machines are anchored to prevent dangerous movement.
- General requirements for electrical work: Employers must install and care for equipment as the manufacturer intends.