Oregon State Hospital to receive Oregon OSHA violations


Shane Ersland


The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has notified Oregon State Hospital (OSH) that the hospital will be cited with 3 violations related to workplace violence and injuries in the areas of documentation, thorough investigation and response. Oregon-OSHA also warned the hospital of 3 additional issues on the same topics that could become a problem in the future if not addressed.

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“One of our guiding principles at the hospital is to ensure the safety of both our patients and our staff,” OSH Superintendent Dolly Matteucci said. “Our staff deserve to come to work each day without the fear of being hurt. We know we have more work to do, and we know more thorough investigation of incidents will help us learn from what happened and prevent future occurrences.”

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen echoed  Matteucci’s statement about the importance of staff and patient safety.

“Members of our hospital staff are getting injured while caring for patients, and that is not acceptable,” Allen said. We must do better, and we will do better. We appreciate what the Oregon-OSHA violations bring to light, we will continue to partner with our hospital staff to find additional ways to prevent workplace violence.”

Prior to the Oregon-OSHA investigation, OSH had started making proactive and operational changes to reduce workplace violence. Some work that is underway includes:

  • Workplace Violence Prevention Program – SAIF Corporation has hired a workplace violence prevention consultant to work with OSH. That consultation began last month. The work is expected to lead to more recommendations to reduce workplace violence and improve staff safety.
  • Broset Violence Checklist (BVC) Implementation – The BVC is an evidence-based risk assessment tool that assists in identifying patients at high risk for aggressive behavior within the next 24 hours.
  • Trainings – The Safe Together team is improving access for staff to attend drills, training opportunities and consultation.

One factor contributing to changes at OSH is a recent shift in the patient population. There has been an increase in “Aid and Assist” patients who are more likely to pose behavioral challenges until medication and other treatment has a chance to work. In addition, staff and patients have coped with inconsistent staffing, Covid-19 restrictions and other external demands.

OSH is expected to receive the official Oregon-OSHA report in the next 2-3 weeks.

This press release was provided by Oregon Health Authority.