McGuire VA Medical Center responds to violations revealed by OSHA

McGuire VA Medical Center responds to violations revealed by OSHA

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - McGuire VA Medical Center has responded to a scathing investigative report released last week. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) found 14 shocking violations at the veterans hospital. Among the more serious were exposing "employees" to workplace violence and failing to provide "proper training" to prevent physical assaults.

McGuire posted an open letter to employees on Facebook on Tuesday, outlining the hospital's response to each of OSHA's findings and what McGuire says its employees need to do themselves.

McGuire's two page letter from hospital Director John Brandecker says the investigation was triggered by an anonymous complaint by an employee who alleged she felt unsafe on the job. Two OSHA investigators spent nearly five months investigating and cited violations from failure to provide safety and health training for supervisory employees to the agency head not furnish a place of employment that was free from recognized hazards that caused or were likely to cause death or serious harm.

McGuire says there's an abundance of training mandates and opportunities. The statement says, in part, "We do not contest that all employees are not up to date on their training. We ask that you review your training assignments and complete your mandatory training immediately."

Also, under willful violation OSHA said the agency did not record each work related fatality, injury or illness as required by OSHA.

McGuire says recording and reporting obligations are important and that it has taken numerous steps over the past two and a half years including increasing police presence by 52 percent, installing new security cameras and reducing the public's access to the medical
center after hours.
McGuire Director John Brandecker ends his statement wishing his employees a Happy Thanksgiving. He says McGuire will meet with OSHA over the
next few weeks to quote, "Correct the record."

Brandecker says the word "willful" implies intentionally putting employees in danger and he says that's not case. He also says they're working to minimize the risk of exposure to violence and provide excellent health care to veterans and their families.

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