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Oregon OSHA cites Oregon State Hospital

<p>The Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Ore., is pictured on Thursday, June 27, 2019. Legislation to reduce wait times at the hospital have cut some people off from the mental health care they need.</p>

Bryan M. Vance

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The Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Ore., is pictured on Thursday, June 27, 2019. Legislation to reduce wait times at the hospital have cut some people off from the mental health care they need.

The Oregon State Hospital has been cited for three workplace safety violations by Oregon OSHA.

Details of the violations have not been released. But the Oregon Health Authority, which oversees the hospital, said in a press release that it has to do with the way the hospital has responded to workplace violence and injuries. Staff members at the state-run psychiatric facility have been repeatedly assaulted by patients.

OHA director Patrick Allen said in a statement that any violence towards employees is unacceptable and that the agency is working hard to reduce rates of workplace violence.

"We must do better, and we will do better," said Allen. "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.”

Allen said the hospital has hired a violence prevention consultant and is using a new assessment tool to help identify patients who may be more prone to violence. Allen said in recent years, staff and patients have had to cope with staffing shortages and COVID-related restrictions.

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Chris M Lehman