Western State Hospital fined by state for assault of nurses

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s largest psychiatric hospital has been fined $4,900 for failing to protect workers from assaults by patients.

The Northwest News Network reported Wednesday that the citation and fine by the Department of Labor and Industries follows an investigation triggered by three assaults at Western State Hospital last year.

In one of the assaults, a patient bit off a portion of a nurse’s ear. In the others, the nurses were pushed to the floor and stomped by patients.

The L&I investigation found that Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services “did not do everything reasonably necessary to protect employees” from workplace violence, according to a copy of the citation obtained by the public radio Northwest News Network.