New safety program for Napa State Hospital
8:16 AM - November 15, 2013
Local 1000 fights to protect our members and sees results
A new Injury and Illness Prevention Program – developed with input from Local 1000 – will roll out over the next year at Napa State Hospital (NSH). Designed to improve the safety and well-being of NSH employees, the new program features education and training, risk assessments, safety inspections, comprehensive reporting and an emergency response and action plan.
Employee safety is a constant concern for our members working at NSH, and Local 1000 has fought over the years to change policies to better protect them. Those efforts intensified in 2010 when Donna Gross, a psychiatric technician, was strangled by an inmate. After this tragic incident, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) cited NSH for several health and safety violations, and Local 1000 took steps that guaranteed our involvement in any changes made as a result.
“Our members deserve a safe work environment, and they shouldn’t have to come to work every day and wonder if they are going to become a victim of assault,” said Kim Cowart, chair of Bargaining Unit 17. “Our members rallied, participated in worksite actions and demanded protections – and they were heard. We are seeing results for our hard work, but there is still more work to be done to make sure all of the state mental health institutions are safe.”
Local 1000 Attorney Brooke Pierman provided legal input to Local 1000 members helping to formulate the new program. “We are optimistic that the Injury and Illness Prevention Program will create a safer working environment for all NSH employees, and we will continue to work with CalOSHA to ensure the safety of our members.”
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