From bites to stab wounds: Company didn’t protect workers who dealt with violent kids
A Birmingham, Alabama social services company was well aware that its employees were being injured by violent clients for several years, yet took no action to protect its workers, according to OSHA, which issued Gateway one general duty clause citation for failing to protect employees from the hazards of physical assault while providing care for adolescent children and teenagers known to exhibit violent behavior tendencies.
Workers suffered injuries such as, bites, abrasions, contusions and stab wounds.
"During our investigation, it became clear that management was well aware that its employees were being injured by violent clients for several years, yet they took no action to protect their workers," said Ramona Morris, OSHA's director of the Birmingham Area Office. "It is unacceptable for an employer not to take action to protect its workers from known hazards."
Proposed penalties: $7,000
Gateway was inspected on January 13, 2015, after the agency received a complaint alleging workplace violence.
Gateway is a social services organization that operates a therapeutic treatment center involved in counseling, education and other programs designed to help adolescents.