US Department of Labor investigation finds Jacksonville psychiatric treatment facility failed to keep workers safe, follow safety procedures
JACKSONVILLE, FL – A federal workplace safety investigation found a Jacksonville psychiatric health and substance disorder facility did not follow safety procedures, leaving workers vulnerable to injuries, including one who a patient reportedly kicked in the face.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration learned a registered nurse employed by UHS of Delaware Inc. and TBJ Behavioral Center LLC, operating as River Point Behavioral Health, was writing reports in January 2023 when a patient entered the staff-only workspace. The patient then allegedly punched and kicked the nurse in the face and head, causing the employee to suffer several injuries including a loss of consciousness and lacerations.
“Workplace violence is a growing concern for healthcare workers and industry employers must take all possible steps to prevent or abate recognized hazards,” said OSHA Area Office Director Scott Tisdale in Jacksonville, Florida. “Our investigation found River Point Behavioral Health failed to address their employee’s safety concerns in a timely manner. No one should go to work daily fearing for their lives and physical well-being.”
OSHA issued River Point Behavioral Health a citation for a serious violation for its failure to provide a workplace free from recognized health and safety hazards which caused, or were likely to cause, serious physical harm. The agency proposed $15,625 in penalties.
Since 2017, OSHA has investigated three Florida facilities affiliated with UHS of Delaware Inc. after similar complaints about exposure to workplace violence.
River Point Behavioral Health employs about 182 workers in Jacksonville and finances patient care, in part by federal insurance plans like Medicare and Tricare. UHS of Delaware Inc., is affiliated with UHS Inc., which is one of the nation’s largest hospital and healthcare services systems with 400 acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.K.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.