An Ohio company is facing $8,700 in proposed fines after being cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for repeatedly exposing its workers to violence at one of its residential care facilities. According the citation, the site has seen 20 instances of on-the-job violence since 2009, with workers being physically assaulted while interacting with violent residents. The assaults have resulted in 37 days of restricted duty and 53 days away from work for employees.
Ohio residents who have been injured on the job and are unable to continue working may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Individuals who have attempted to secure such benefits but have been denied may be able to file a civil lawsuit in order to obtain compensation for lost wages resulting from their injuries.
OSHA's rules require employers to provide workers with a workplace without hazards that are likely to cause death or serious injury. When an employer knows about such a hazard but fails to take appropriate action, OSHA may cite the employer for a serious violation. The company in this case was also cited for failing to provide injury and illness logs, failing to properly record restricted or lost work days and other violations. However, none of OSHA's four previous investigation regarding the company yielded any citations. The company has 15 days to meet with an OSHA official or contest the citations before an independent committee.
An Ohio base OSHA official said the issue illustrates "a clear and pressing need for employers operating residential care facilities to develop comprehensive and effective programs that proactively address workplace violence situations." He added that "prevention, protection, communication and awareness training are critical to safeguarding caregivers against possible injury in the workplace."
Source: WHIOtv.com, "Company fined for exposing employees to violence," Eric Robinette, Oct. 3, 2012