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U.S. workplace safety regulators have cited and proposed $71,137 in penalties against a Florida health care facility for failing to protect employees from workplace violence.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Premier Behavioral Health Solutions of Florida Inc. and UHS of Delaware Inc., the operators of Bradenton, Florida-based Suncoast Behavioral Health Center, after responding to a complaint that employees were not adequately protected from violent mental health patients, according to an agency statement published on Wednesday.
The companies were cited for failing to institute controls to prevent verbal and physical threats of assault, including punches, kicks and bites and the use of objects as weapons, according to the statement. Another UHS subsidiary was cited in 2016 for a deficient workplace violence program.
“This citation reflects a failure to effectively address numerous incidents over the past two years resulting in serious injuries to employees of the facility,” Les Grove, OSHA Tampa Area Office director, said in the statement.
A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
Workplace safety regulations lowering exposure thresholds to certain toxic substances are not expected to have a significant effect on the insurance market for these risks despite the potential for additional third-party litigation.