OSHA releases details of its Western Psych workplace investigation

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PITTSBURGH —

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed its investigation into the workplace at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Officials with OSHA said the probe started immediately after John Shick’s murderous rampage earlier this year.

The investigation concluded that West Penn employees have been exposed to workplace violence, calling the situation a “serious safety and health hazard.”

OSHA officials said the purpose of their investigation is to heighten UPMC’s awareness of the hazardous conditions and to encourage it to implement measures that will further address the problem and prevent future happenings. Channel 11’s Alan Jennings confirmed that the probe did not result in a fine for UPMC.

The investigation also found several incidents from 2007 to 2011 involving acts of violence by clients directed toward employees. OSHA recommended increased efforts to reduce the likelihood of similar events.

Channel 11 News obtained a copy of the suggested improvements sent from OSHA to UPMC. They included making employees aware of how to protect themselves, establishing a committee to track, review and discuss patient-on-staff violence, and additional security at the reception area.