Behavioral Health Facility Cited Again for Safety Lapses Following Employee Injury

Behavioral Health Facility Cited Again for Safety Lapses Following Employee Injury

Circles of Care Inc. faces $101,000 in proposed OSHA penalties.

OSHA has cited Circles of Care Inc. for failing to protect its employees from patient violence, following an investigation into an incident at a Melbourne, Florida facility.

According to a recent release, the investigation launched after a mental health technician was attacked by a patient on November 7, 2023, resulting in serious injuries. OSHA found that Circles of Care failed to provide adequate safeguards to prevent such incidents and cited the company for a repeat violation. The company was also cited for failing to report the employee’s hospitalization within 24 hours, as required by law.

As a result, Circles of Care —which operates 10 psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities across Florida—now faces $101,000 in proposed OSHA penalties for these violations. This marks the third time in five years that the company has been cited for safety lapses resulting in serious employee injuries or fatalities.

“Circles of Care’s reluctance to protect its employees from the recognized danger of patient assault is shocking, OSHA Area Office Director Erin Sanchez in Orlando said in a statement. “These attacks often occur suddenly and swiftly, causing serious and, as we’ve seen, fatal harm to workers and leaving their co-workers traumatized.”

Circles of Care Inc. now has 15 business days to comply with the citations and penalties, request an informal conference or contest the agency’s findings.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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