OSHA Reaches Settlement with Florida Behavior Healthcare and Residential Treatment Facility

OSHA Reaches Settlement with Florida Behavior Healthcare and Residential Treatment Facility

Facility in Fort Myers agrees to revamp its violence prevention program after an investigation reveals five incidents occurred.

OSHA reached a settlement with a Fort Meyers behavior healthcare and residential treatment facility. The settlement was created to prevent future employees from injuries after a series of violent incidents in the spring and fall of 2020.

According to a press release, OSHA found that SalusCare Inc. exposed behavior health technicians to attacks on five occasions in 2020 when “workers were spit on, kicked in the ribs and suffered sprains, cuts, fractures and a concussion.” OSHA issued the center a citation for failing to protect its workers from patient-on-staff violence and an other-than serious citation for failing to report a worker hospitalization within 24 hours. SalusCare will pay $6,747 for these citations.

As a part of the settlement, the company will hire a qualified consultant to improve its workplace violence prevention program, develop a way to alert workers to violent patients and triggers that may lead to violence, revise its safety protocols, increase staffing, provide worker training and improve safety communication.

“SalusCare agreeing to accept the citation and implement extensive changes are integral steps to protecting their employees,” said OSHA Area Director Danelle Jindra in Tampa, Florida. “This case should serve as a reminder for all employers to review their workplace violence prevention programs to ensure the safety of their workers.”

The company has seven locations throughout Southwest Florida and is a nonprofit mental health and substance abuse service provider. SalusCare employs more than 400 people who treat nearly 16,000 people.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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