An administrative law judge ruled that employees at a Massachusetts behavioral health facility were not protected from workplace violence, the decision came more than three years after the employer was cited by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
OSHA announced findings Tuesday that UHS of Delaware Inc. and UHS of Fuller Inc. failed to take steps to prevent injuries to employees at Fuller Hospital in Attleboro.
OSHA cited the companies for subjecting employees to workplace violence in late 2019. The companies contested the lawsuit before the US Occupational Safety and Health Commission, and a judge upheld the serious citation.
The judge also upheld proposed OSHA measures to protect employees from workplace violence, such as providing workers with panic alarms, providing trained security personnel on all shifts, and ensuring units are staffed to handle behavioral health emergencies.
The companies, which run the hospital as a single employer, were also fined for destroying video surveillance showing incidents of workplace violence.
The judge̵7;s decision was appealed to the full Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA’s investigation stemmed from complaints from employees who said the hospital’s lack of protection led to them being kicked, punched, punched, bitten and had their hair pulled.
Some workers also suffered repeated concussions.
OSHA said more than 500 incidents occurred in a seven-month period in 2019.
Fuller Hospital provides inpatient care to adolescents and adults.