Oregon State Hospital Failed to Investigate Assaults

During the first half of this year, there were 102 cases of injuries resulting from workplace violence. OSHA sampled nine of them and found only two had been investigated.

The Oregon State Hospital failed to investigate a vast majority of workplace injuries and illnesses during the first half of 2022, according to a random sample of cases reviewed by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health. The agency cited the hospital for the violation last week. The citation was obtained by WW this morning.

During that period, there were 102 cases of injuries resulting from workplace violence. OSHA sampled nine of them and found only two had been investigated.

The agency, which enforces workplace safety regulations, called the violation “willful” and proposed a $53,750 fine. The citation says the violations must be “abated” by Oct. 3.

According to OSHA’s federal counterpart, “willful” violations are ones “in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.”

The citation was one of three. The agency also faulted the hospital for failing to adequately record the assaults, and added penalties of $440.

In a Sept. 8 press release announcing the upcoming citations, the Oregon Health Authority, which administers the state psychiatric hospital, said: “Our staff deserve to come to work each day without the fear of being hurt. We know we have more work to do, and we know more thorough investigation of incidents will help us learn from what happened and prevent future occurrences.”