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Workers at Idaho group home attacked by patients

July 21, 2012
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Increasingly violent attacks against workers at an Idaho group home have led to an OSHA citation and a penalty of $4,900.

OSHA has cited South Park Inc., operating as Developmental Options in Pocatello, with one serious violation for failing to provide employees with adequate safeguards against workplace violence. OSHA opened an inspection of the group home and adult day care center in January following reports of increasing severity of attacks against workers.

OSHA cited the employer for exposing employees to repeated instances of violent behavior, aggressive physical contact and attacks by a patient in the residential habilitation program. OSHA also determined that the company failed to identify and abate existing and developing hazards associated with workplace violence.

"No worker should have to go to work fearful of being assaulted on the job," said David G. Kearns, director of OSHA's Boise Area Office, which conducted the inspection.  

South Park provides round-the-clock care for people with developmental disabilities. The company employs approximately 75 full-time workers and operates multiple residential rehabilitation apartments and homes in Pocatello and Shelley.

"Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers" is available on OSHA's website at www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3148/osha3148.html.

Additional information on workplace violence is available at www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/index.html.

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