Security guards not properly equipped with safety tools

By: November 23rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A Seattle, WA hospital was fined after security guards stressed multiple times that they felt unsafe due to the lack of proper equipment needed to handle violent situations that may arise in the hospital.

Harborview Medical Center was fined $13,200 earlier this month by the state Department of Labor and Industries. The fine was imposed after repeated complaints by the guards concerning both their and the public’s safety, according to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The issue stems back to 2007, when guards at the hospital handed out pamphlets throughout the hospital stating they wanted more training and tools to help manage hazardous situations. However, Harborview insisted that it maintained a safe environment, and on November 16, released a statement regarding the fine.

“Harborview Medical Center places the safety of our patients and staff as the highest priority and commits extensive resources to maintain high standards of safety at all times.”

The state Department of Labor and Industries told Harborview Medical Center that after repeated safety violations, it hadn’t made the effort to execute or develop safety programs, according to Seattle PI.

Highlighted in the citation was proper training given to the guards. Harborview did not make sure that guards were trained properly on identifying explosives in metal detectors or X-ray machines. Physical violence training was an additional concern, the citation stating guards were unsure how to deal with an aggressive person, according to the article.

The state ordered Harborview Medical Center to correct all the violations and problems.

How should this hospital execute training programs for its guards? What security measures does your facility take when it comes to employing guards? Let us know in our comment section.

Protect your staff and patients from violence in the emergency department. Violence in healthcare—like the recent incident at Johns Hopkins Hospital—is on the rise. Join HCPro for Violence in the ED: Proven Strategies to Keep Your Facility Safe, a 90-minute on-demand Webcast where you’ll learn a five-step approach to keeping your staff and patients safe. Our experienced speakers will also guide you through regulatory requirements related to workplace violence and provide action plans to train staff to handle unruly patients and prevent dangerous situations.


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