Gone are the days of OSHA cracking down on just trade contractors.With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hiring at a record amount the exposure or RISK to every organization has increased dramatically.
OSHA ensures the safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, education and assistance.
Non-Profit organizations that provide a social service to their community are vital for many. They provide day services, night services, education services, etc. etc. the list goes on and on. Some organizations lack in the area of protocols and procedures to deal with combative clients. I have personally sat down with Executive Directors of organizations no matter size and have asked the question “how are you dealing with this growing risk?” Many respond with a deer in headlights response.
Gateway, which provides social services to children and adolescents with emotional problems found themselves in the hot seat when OSHA fined them $7,000. OSHA’s citation mentioned four incidents in January and February of 2015 when clients choked, punched and threw objects at staff. OSHA’s director commented that during the investigation it was clear that management at Gateway was well aware that its employees were being injured by clients for years, yet they took no action to prevent or protect their workers.
This is an emerging risk that cannot be avoided or ignored. The hour clock is running out for organizations to implement and maintain high level safety practices to protect their staff and clients.