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Region 2 News Release: 14-1413-NEW
August 11, 2014
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald    Andre J. Bowser
Phone: 617-565-2075    617-565-2074
Email: : fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov     bowser.andre.j@dol.gov

Brooklyn medical facility cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA
for inadequate workplace violence safeguards
Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center inspected after worker complaints

NEW YORK – Employees of Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn were exposed to head, eye, face and groin injuries and intimidation and threats during routine interactions with patients and visitors. The employer failed to protect employees adequately against workplace violence, an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found. The medical center faces $78,000 in fines following an inspection by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office that began Feb. 10, 2014, in response to a complaint.

OSHA found approximately 40 incidents of workplace violence reported between Feb.7 and April 12, 2014. These incidents involved employees who were threatened or physically and verbally assaulted by patients and visitors, or when breaking up altercations between patients. The most serious incident was the Feb.7 assault of a nurse, who sustained severe brain injuries when she was attacked while working.

"Brookdale management was aware of these incidents and did not take effective measures to prevent assaults against its employees. The facility's workplace violence program was ineffective, with many employees unaware of its purpose, specifics or existence," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.

As a result, OSHA cited Brookdale for one willful violation, with a proposed fine of $7