The Franklin Hospital Medical Center in Valley Stream, N.Y., has been issued OSHA citations and a proposed fine of $4,500 after a nurse at the hospital was attacked and severely injured while performing normal duties that included providing group therapy sessions to psychiatric patients.

OSHA inspectors found that her employers had failed to implement adequate measures to protect employees from assault in the workplace. According to the agency, these measures could include:

  • Screening for potential weapons at the facility
  • Screening patients for potential violence before admittance to the hospital, and
  • Pproviding extensive training to ensure that all affected staff are aware of the hospital's workplace violence plan.

OSHA's Workplace Violence Safety and Health Topics Page offers guidelines and recommendations to reduce worker exposures to this occupational hazard. OSHA's and Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers provide practical measures for safeguarding nurses and other workers in healthcare settings. OSHA will soon issue a directive instructing enforcement officers on investigating and inspecting worksites that the agency identifies as vulnerable to workplace violence.