Five serious” viola­tions and $14,400 fine follows patient attacks on nurses

The state Depart­ment of Labor and Indus­tries on April 11 cited and fined St. Joseph Medical Center Tacoma (St. Joe’s) for safety viola­tions related to a series of attacks on nurses at the hospital. L&I’s Division of Occupa­tional Safety and Health launched an inves­ti­ga­tion at the request of WSNA after a patient in the psychi­atric unit assaulted numerous nurses in October 2018. The patient threat­ened to kill, punched, kicked and scratched staff members, inflicting serious injuries.

These findings stem directly from a complaint filed by WSNA following a string of workplace violence incidents last fall. WSNA filed a complaint with the Division of Occupa­tional Safety and Health (DOSH) at L&I for failing to ensure your safety in the workplace, failing to provide adequate training and failing to evaluate workplace violence incidents in order to better protect nurses and other employees from harm.

The Division of Safety and Health cited the hospital for failing to conduct an effec­tive, inclu­sive incident inves­ti­ga­tion into the assaults. Additional viola­tions addressed the safety committee, which DOSH found did not effec­tively address safety topics and did not include the required number of employee repre­sen­ta­tives. St. Joe’s has until April 29th to correct the violations.

Thank you to the brave nurses who came forward with their testi­mo­nials. This is a huge victory for the nurses and all the workers at St. Joe’s.

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive Hanna Welander

at or (206) 575‑7979, ext. 3056.