Dangerous conditions at Kaiser Baldwin Park reported to Dept. of Health, OSHA, JCAHO
Despite 2003 shooting, management refuses to take basic steps to protect employees from outsider who threatened their lives
Baldwin Park, Calif.—Workers at Kaiser’s Baldwin Park Medical Center filed complaints with state and federal agencies today, asking for help after Kaiser management failed to ensure the safety of workers and patients in response to death threats by a former employee.
On July 16, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued a restraining order against Tiffany Ford, 47, for making death threats against two Kaiser employees in the hospital cafeteria.1 Despite the court’s order, Kaiser officials have allowed Ford full access to the hospital where she threatened employees, citing a prior agreement with Ford’s employer, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
After complaints2 to Kaiser management about Ford’s disruptive behavior and violent threats were ignored, workers reported the unsafe conditions to the California Department of Public Health3, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)4, and the hospital accreditation board JCAHO (the Joint Commission).5
Safety has been a special concern for employees at Kaiser Baldwin Park since a 2003 workplace shooting of a Kaiser doctor in the urology department.6
Kaiser’s written code of conduct said that harassment and threats of any kind “will not be tolerated.”7 Yet Ford has violated the court’s restraining order twice in the last two weeks and has evaded responding police officers, and Kaiser management has still refused to bar her from the facility.
2 Letter from 13 employees to Medical Group Administration head Rick Rosoff, Area Medical Director John Bigley, and Executive Director Maggie Pierce. July 8, 2010.
3 Letter to California Department of Public Health, “RE: Complaint regarding Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center,” Aug. 5, 2010.
4 Complaint to with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Aug. 5, 2010.
5 Complaint to Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations (JCAHO), Aug. 5, 2010.
6 “Doctor Shot in Baldwin Park Hospital,” Los Angeles Times, Sept. 20, 2003.
7 Kaiser Permanente Principles of Responsibility/Code of Conduct, policies on harassment and employee safety.
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The National Union of Healthcare Workers is California’s fastest-growing union, representing caregivers in every job classification. NUHW is dedicated to member democracy, dignity and justice for healthcare workers, and quality, affordable healthcare for all.