New York workplaces have an obligation to keep workers safe. While traditionally, many people may think that this means that employers have to keep them safe from dangerous machines and chemicals, it also means that workers need to be kept safe from clients and others entering the workplace. If workers are not safe, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can take steps to punish the employer for safety regulation violations.

This is what has happened recently at a New York hospital. In this case, OSHA has fined the hospital $78,000 for workplace safety violations – $8,000 for problems with injury reporting and $70,000 for unsafe conditions.

In this case, OSHA says that hospital knew about dangers to the employees from violent patients but did nothing to improve the situation. In its findings, OSHA cited one workplace accident where a nurse was kicked in the head by a patient multiple times. In this case, the nurse suffered from brain damage as a result of the incident. Furthermore, OSHA claims that many employees were not even aware of the hospital’s workplace violence program or its purpose.

The hospital, on the other hand, disagrees with OSHA’s assessment of the situation. Hospital administration says the hospital takes workplace safety very seriously. Administration also recognize the challenges associated with keeping employees safe from violent patients and their threats of workplace injury. Additionally, the hospital announced that it cooperated with the OSHA investigation but will take steps to appeal the ruling.

When workplaces allow unsafe working conditions, workplace accidents can occur that result in on the job injuries. When workers are injured, they should make sure they understand all their legal rights, including the right to workers’ compensation.

Source: Capital, “Brookdale Hospital fined $78,000 by OSHA,” Dan Goldberg, Aug. 11, 2014

Source: Capital, “Brookdale Hospital fined $78,000 by OSHA,” Dan Goldberg, Aug. 11, 2014