TAMPA, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Integra Health Management of Owings Mills, Md., with two violations following an incident in December 2012 when a service coordinator was fatally stabbed in Dade City by a patient in front of the patient's home. The employee was meeting the patient for a required face-to-face hospitalization risk assessment.
The patient had a criminal history of violent behavior. The employee was overcome by the patient and stabbed multiple times after attempting to flee. The employee had previously raised concerns about the patient.
A serious safety violation has been cited for exposing employees to incidents of violent behavior by a patient that resulted in death. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
One other-than-serious violation also has been cited for the employer's failure to report a workplace fatality. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
'This incident could have been prevented if the employer had a comprehensive, written, workplace violence prevention program to address hazards and assist employees when they raise concerns about their safety,' said Teresa Harrison, OSHA's acting regional administrator for the Southeast.
Integra Health Management has its corporate office in Owings Mills, with service coordinator operations in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida. The company conducts mental and physical health assessments and coordinates health care for members through community service coordinators. Service coordinators work from their homes or in the field.
Information on workplace violence is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/index.html.
The citations for the serious and other-than-serious violations carry $10,500 in proposed penalties. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Tampa office at 813-626-1177.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.