Brooklyn Hospital Fined for Failure to Create Safe Work Environment
Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn has been fined $78,000 after a federal investigation uncovered that the facility was failing to provide sufficient protection to its employees from falling equipment and patients exhibiting violent tendencies.
An investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that from just February to May of 2014, more than 40 employees of the hospital sustained injuries to the head, face, eyes and groin. One 70-year old nurse suffered serious injuries during a vicious beating by a patient — she was hurt so severely that she had to undergo brain surgery.
According to OSHA, Brookdale Hospital was well aware of the various incidents occurring within the facility and failed to take appropriate action to make sure that its employees were safe. OSHA also reported that the workplace violence prevention program in place at the hospital was ineffective and that many of the employees were totally unaware of its existence.
Not all hospital employee injuries involved patients. Other workers in the hospital were hurt by falling supplies or by banging into equipment that was placed in inconvenient locations.
OSHA recommended the hospital make several changes to its facility, including the installation of panic buttons and alarm systems at all workstations and video surveillance systems in areas where there is a high risk of violence or accident.
Employers have certain standards of safety that they must meet for their workers. When they fail to meet those standards, they could be found negligent and therefore liable for damages in an employee’s injury claim.
If you suffer an injury at your workplace in New York City and believe that inadequate conditions or lack of safety measures was a factor, consult an attorney to review your options for collecting workers’ compensation benefits or filing a negligence claim.