News Brief

Department of Labor finds Texas Children’s Hospital failed to protect employees after security guard suffers serious assault by patient

Employer name:        Texas Children’s Hospital

                                            1919 South Braeswood Blvd.

                                            Houston, TX 77030

Citations issued:        One serious citation and one Hazard Alert Letter.

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that the hospital exposed employees who worked with patients with behavioral health issues to physical threats and assaults. On Nov. 10, 2022, an aggressive patient pulled a security officer to the ground by the hair and kicked them repeatedly in the chest and abdomen. The officer, who was responding to an alert, lost consciousness, was taken to the emergency room and hospitalized.

OSHA found the employer had inadequate policies and procedures to protect employees from physical assaults by patients who exhibited violent behavior during medical surveillance and treatment.

Proposed penalties: $15,625

Quote: “Workplace violence is an increasing problem for healthcare workers. The incident in this investigation is one of many recent attacks by patients against industry workers,” said OSHA Area Director Mark Briggs in Houston. “Healthcare employers must protect their employees, particularly those in contact with aggressive or potentially aggressive patients, from the danger of being attacked by a patient. Employers must have certain effective policies and procedures in place so employees don’t have to work in fear of their safety.”

Read the citations and the Hazard Alert Letter.

Learn how to keep workers safe from workplace violence.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
May 10, 2023
Release Number
Media Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Media Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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