You are here

OSHA: GEO required to pay fine, safeguard workers

Error message

  • Deprecated function: implode(): Passing glue string after array is deprecated. Swap the parameters in Drupal\gmap\GmapDefaults->__construct() (line 107 of /home/texaspb/texasprisonbidness.org/sites/all/modules/gmap/lib/Drupal/gmap/GmapDefaults.php).
  • Deprecated function: implode(): Passing glue string after array is deprecated. Swap the parameters in drupal_get_feeds() (line 394 of /home/texaspb/texasprisonbidness.org/includes/common.inc).

The GEO Group, which operates 42 prisons and detention facilities in the United States, has entered into a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor. The settlement requires GEO to instate measures that better protect employees from routine workplace violence in each of its facilities ("Florida-Based Employer Must Safeguard Workers," 3/26/14). 

In June 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited GEO for workplace hazards at a facility in Meridian, Miss. These violations include the company's failure to fix faulty cell door locks; to provide training and equipment to protect employees in violent situations; and failure to provide adequate staffing.

The three-year agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, the citation has been upgraded to a serious violation, which will require GEO to pay a $13,600 fine. GEO will also be required to hire a third-party consultant who will manage a violence prevention program and conduct safety audits at each of the company's 42 facilities. GEO is also required to employ a corporate-level violence coordinator at each facility. 

Teresa Harrison, acting regional administrator for OSHA in Atlanta, thinks this new measure will be effective: 

“This corporate-wide settlement agreement will have a far-reaching effect and impact on correctional officers and other staff nationwide...This agreement is the first of its kind in the corrections industry that addresses the hazards associated with workplace violence.” 

 

Tags: