After Client Kills Employee, Company Cited for Violence Hazards
Stephanie Ross was afraid of her client, Lucious Smith.
According to an article from EHS Today, Smith had a history of criminal activity and was known for exhibiting violent behavior. But when Ross, a mental health coordinator, was tasked by her employer, Integra Health Management, to visit smith for a required face-to-face hospitalization risk assessment, Smith stabbed Ross, followed her out of his house and stabbed her repeatedly. She later died at a local hospital.
OSHA has made note of the fact that Ross notified the company of her concerns regarding Smith. “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, as noted in the EHS Today article.
The agency issued a serious safety violation for exposing employees to incidents of violent behavior by a patient that resulted in death – this results from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Integra has also been issued an other-than-serious violation for failing to report Ross’ death as a workplace fatality. These two citations carry $10,500 in proposed penalties.