Detroit Medical Center fined over workplace security

DETROIT – A hospital in Midtown Detroit has been cited by state investigators for failing to maintain security.

According to a new state investigation, Detroit Receiving Hospital has failed to protect staff and patients adequately. The Local 4 Defenders obtained a newly released citation from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration which reads, in part: 

"Health care and security employees were exposed to violent behavior by patients and visitors that resulted in verbal threats, bites and assaults to staff while working at Detroit Receiving Hospital. ... That there were 116 injuries related to combative patients between 2012 and 2015 ... That workplace violence cases have risen from 10 percent  to 16 percent between that same time period."

The citation comes with a $5,000 fine and the implementation of an improvement plan by Sept. 19. 

Read the full citation here.

"We're there to protect the patients, the visitors, the staff," said Rudolph Casey, who has been a Detroit Medical Center hospital security officer for 15 years.

Casey said he loves his job, but said there is a serious problem. Casey said there are not enough security officers on staff to keep everyone safe. He said security officers too often are checking on missing property from rooms instead of watching for violent behavior. 

"If we're not properly staffed, how can we protect the patients?" Casey asked. "We have had some incidents, but we have been very fortunate to defuse them quickly."

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"We are working with MIOSHA to implement their recommendations for enhancing our workplace violence program to accommodate our Crisis Center’s increase in behavioral health patient volume in recent years," a DMC official said. "The safety of our patients, staff and visitors is vitally important to Detroit Receiving Hospital, and we have every confidence that our team will continue to provide a secure environment for all employees, patients and visitors."

The state investigation requires immediate action and has recommended a minimum of a two-person security staff in high-risk areas.