OSHA Cites Company in Murder of Employee

By Roy Maurer Jun 26, 2013

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Integra Health Management of Owings Mills, Md., with two violations that carry combined fines of $10,500, after one of its employees in Dade City, Fla., was murdered.

Integra Health assigned Stephanie Ross, a mental health coordinator from Lakeland, Fla., to administer a face-to-face hospitalization risk assessment of her client, Lucious Smith, who had a criminal history and was known for violent behavior.

On Dec. 10, 2012, Ross visited Smith’s home to conduct the assessment.

During that meeting, Smith stabbed Ross multiple times. She died at a local hospital.

In citing the company, OSHA made note of the fact that Ross had notified her employer of her concerns about Smith.

“This incident could have been prevented if the employer had a comprehensive, written workplace-violence-prevention program to address hazards and assist employees when they raise concerns about their safety,” said Teresa Harrison, OSHA’s acting regional administrator for the Southeast.

The agency issued Integra a serious safety violation for exposing employees to incidents of violent behavior that resulted in death. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard that the employer knew or should have known about.

OSHA also hit Integra with an other-than-serious violation for failing to report Ross’ death as a workplace fatality. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Integra plans to contest the citations, according to a statement.

Smith was charged with first-degree murder and committed to a state mental hospital.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him on Twitter @SHRMRoy.

Related Articles:

OSHA Cites Employer in Workplace Violence Death of Employee, SHRM Online Safety & Security Discipline, November 2012

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