OSHRC Affirms Citation in Workplace Violence Case

The case involves a serious violation of the General Duty Clause for which Integra Health Management, an Owings Mills, Md.-based social service employer, was cited.

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission affirmed an OSHA citation March 4 in a case where a company's employee was killed by a client with a history of mental illness and violent criminal behavior. The case involves a serious violation of the General Duty Clause for which Integra Health Management, an Owings Mills, Md.-based social service employer, was cited. The client, who had a criminal record (grand theft of a motor vehicle in 1981, battery in 1992, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in 1990, and aggravated assault with a weapon in 1995, according to the commission's 3-0 decision) stabbed the employee nine times when the employee made a scheduled visit to his home in December 2012.

The employee was a 25-year-old recent college graduate, hired as a service coordinator by Integra but lacking any experience in social work or working with mentally ill people, according to the decision, which held that Integra is accountable for failing to protect workers from workplace violence. The decision does not identify the female employee by name.

(By the time OSHRC took up the case, Integra had implemented new protocols, including background checks on all members, red-flagging members with criminal backgrounds, establishing a liaison with local law enforcement, and instituting a written workplace violence program with mandatory reporting, the decision says.)

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) filed an amicus brief in the OSHRC case, Secretary of Labor v. Integra Health Management, Inc. "It is well-known – and tragic – that health care and social service workers are frequent victims of workplace violence," said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of National COSH. "Employers have a legal responsibility to act on this knowledge and provide a safe and healthy workplace. Integra failed and a social service worker lost her life."

"This ruling will help prevent future tragedies," said attorney Randy Rabinowitz, who represented National COSH, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Service Employees International Union as amici in the case. "Employers are now on notice of their responsibility under existing law to reduce the risks of workplace violence."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2019

    March 2019

    Featuring:

    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Not Your Grandpa's Ear Muffs 
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Far Too Many Fatal Falls
    • DRUG TESTING
      Marijuana in the Workplace
    • FALL PREVENTION
      Ladder Safety Tips
    View This Issue