Serious Safety Violations Found at Independence Mental Health Institute

Regulators have found serious safety violations at the Independence Mental Health Institute, where several combative patients have assaulted employees.

The Independence Mental Health Institute treats patients with severe and complex psychiatric needs.

An inspection found that employees at the facility struggle to manage violent outbursts due to inadequate emergency plans, low staffing, poor communication and ineffective safety shields that staffers haven’t been trained to use.

The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation in June after a series of attacks against staff members. A union representing employees said the mental health institute faced an urgent safety crisis.

Inspectors found seven serious and three minor safety violations. They proposed a $72,770 fine against the Iowa Department of Human Services, which operates the facility, and ordered it to fix the problems.


story courtesy of Associated Press