Workers attacked in healthcare facilities

OSHA Healthcare Connection, November 3, 2009

It’s been a difficult two weeks for healthcare workers in the Boston area, and not just because of H1N1 pressure. Workplace violence incidents occurred in two facilities, with one in a medical office.

  • An off-duty security guard shot and killed a patient who had allegedly stabbed a psychiatrist just moments earlier in a medical office building owned by Massachusetts General Hospital, according to the Boston Police Department. The security guard didn’t work for the facility and happened to be in the medical office building at the time. The psychiatrist was expected to recover from her injuries, The Boston Globe reported.
  • A man was arrested for allegedly attempting to rape an employee at Mass. General, according to Boston police. The suspect, a convicted sex offender on release, allegedly hit the victim from behind in a women’s restroom, slammed her head into the ground, and ripped her clothes before the victim was able to escape, The Globe said.

For an analysis from a security perspective, read “Doctor stabbed: When something goes wrong, security feels the heat” in Mac’s Safety Space.

Also, the Boston Herald recently reported on an investigation concerning the possible poisoning of six Harvard medical laboratory workers by way of an office coffee machine. See “If you think the coffee in your office is bad…” for details of that incident and free downloads for workplace violence prevention resources on OSHA Healthcare Advisor.

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