Industrial Appeals Judge Craig C. Stewart has dismissed the appeal by St. Joseph Medical Center which had challenged the citations against the hospital for multiple “serious” occupational safety and health violations.
On April 11 of this year, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) issued a citation against St. Joseph for five serious violations and imposed fines totaling $14,400.00. DOSH cited the hospital for illegally excluding representatives of nurses and other employees from investigations of workplace violence incidents, illegally failing to notify WSNA and another union about physical assaults on their members, illegally conducting a safety and health committee composed of less than half employee representatives selected by the employees’ unions, illegally operating a safety committee on which the chair was not elected by the committee members, and illegally failing to ensure that the safety committee reviewed and evaluated safety inspection and incident investigation reports.
The citation came about after a DOSH inspection of St. Joseph in response to a complaint filed by WSNA.
St. Joseph’s lawyers lodged an appeal with the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, challenging the DOSH citation. WSNA filed a motion to dismiss the hospital’s appeal as untimely.
The judge agreed with WSNA and ruled that St. Joseph’s appeal, filed May 8, was too late. Under the law, unless an employer files its appeal of a DOSH citation within fifteen working days, the citation and penalty becomes final “and not subject to review by any court or agency.”
If you have questions, please contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander at (206) 575‑7979, Ext. 3035 or firstname.lastname@example.org.