Five “serious” violations and $14,400 fine follows patient attacks on nurses
The state Department of Labor and Industries on April 11 cited and fined St. Joseph Medical Center Tacoma (St. Joe’s) for safety violations related to a series of attacks on nurses at the hospital. L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health launched an investigation at the request of WSNA after a patient in the psychiatric unit assaulted numerous nurses in October 2018. The patient threatened to kill, punched, kicked and scratched staff members, inflicting serious injuries.
These findings stem directly from a complaint filed by WSNA following a string of workplace violence incidents last fall. WSNA filed a complaint with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) at L&I for failing to ensure your safety in the workplace, failing to provide adequate training and failing to evaluate workplace violence incidents in order to better protect nurses and other employees from harm.
The Division of Safety and Health cited the hospital for failing to conduct an effective, inclusive incident investigation into the assaults. Additional violations addressed the safety committee, which DOSH found did not effectively address safety topics and did not include the required number of employee representatives. St. Joe’s has until April 29th to correct the violations.
Thank you to the brave nurses who came forward with their testimonials. This is a huge victory for the nurses and all the workers at St. Joe’s.
Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Hanna Welander
at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 575‑7979, ext. 3056.