Safety at Western State Hospital in the news again



WMD-793-4-copyYou may have seen the news reports about the most recent assault on staff at Western State Hospital in Lakewood.

KOMO TV: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Another-assault-at-Western-State-renews-calls-for-increased-staff-284057291.html

Tacoma News Tribune: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/02/3520165/three-nurses-assaulted-at-western.html?sp=/99/296/331/311/

The assaults took place two days before Thanksgiving. Two patients assaulted three staff. One had minor injuries, the TNT reports, and was sent to the hospital.

But it could’ve been worse: Police found a billiard ball wrapped in a sock that, the TNT reports, one of the patients said he intended to use the weapon to assault staff and tie them up.

It’s another example of the danger of budget cuts and understaffing. “We simply cannot continue down this road of understaffing and cutting because it’s gonna have tragic results,” Federation spokesperson Tim Welch told KOMO.

Ironically, the assault came just five days after the state Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals basically OK’d a settlement between the state, the Federation and other smaller unions at Western State that arose from safety violation citations issued by the Department of Labor and Industries in March 2013 in the wake of an inspection six months earlier. Under the stipulation signed Nov. 20, the state will spend $23,500 for among other things a curriculum for safety training. This must be done by July 1. this is in line with other joint efforts to improve safety.

But a always, stay tuned.

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