Employees of The Children's Home of Reading have become victims in at least 10 incidents of workplace violence since February, according to a report released Thursday by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
In one incident, OSHA said, a worker suffered serious injuries after being twice kicked in the face, head and neck by one of the facility's residents.
The home on Centre Avenue, which was founded in 1884, provides a place to live for boys and girls with a mental health diagnosis.
Federal workplace safety and health inspectors, acting on an employee's complaint, inspected the home on March 7.
As a result, the agency said it cited the home for not providing personal protective equipment to protect employees' arms from bites.
OSHA also issued a citation under its general duty clause for workplace violence.
"Employees have the right to a safe and healthful workplace, however, there are many documented reports in the past several years of employees being exposed to workplace violence at The Children's Home of Reading," said Timothy Braun, acting director of OSHA's Harrisburg area office. "This facility must take immediate action and institute effective protective measures to ensure that no more workers get hurt."
The home was assessed proposed penalties totaling $23,160.
"At this point, it is a proposed citation that can be contested," Dr. Vincent LaSorsa, president and CEO of The Children’s Home of Reading, said in response to OSHA's findings. "The safety of our employees and clients is something that we take very seriously."
The home has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.