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Region 2 News Release: 11-1596-NEW/BOS 2011-385
Nov. 30, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Department of Labor reaches settlement with
The Renaissance Project regarding OSHA workplace violence citation
Ellenville, NY, treatment facility agrees to enhance employee safety

NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor has reached a settlement agreement with The Renaissance Project Inc. that resolves litigation stemming from citations and penalties issued to the Ellenville, N.Y., substance abuse treatment facility by the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The settlement affirms the citations and also commits the facility to taking steps to better safeguard its employees against workplace violence.

"Workplace violence is a serious, recognized occupational hazard, ranking among the top four causes of death in workplaces during the past 15 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "Violent incidents can be avoided or decreased if employers take appropriate precautions to protect their workers."

In April, OSHA's Albany Area Office cited The Renaissance Project for a serious violation of the agency's "general duty clause" for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause serious injury or death because the employer had not developed and implemented adequate safeguards against workplace violence for its employees. This followed an October 2010 incident in which an untrained security guard, working alone, was fatally stabbed by a client.

Under the settlement, in addition to correcting the conditions cited as a result of OSHA's inspection, The Renaissance Project has agreed to institute a number of measures that OSHA believes will eliminate or materially reduce similar incidents of workplace violence from occurring in the future