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Bend-La Pine Schools pays nearly $7K Oregon OSHA fine over 4 staff injured by students at Rosland Elementary

Oregon OSHA citation letter, notification of penalty to Bend-La Pine Schools.
Oregon OSHA/Facebook
Oregon OSHA citation letter, notification of penalty to Bend-La Pine Schools.

Agency says school district failed to investigate lost-time injuries at school's Learning Lab

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – Bend-La Pine Schools on Wednesday paid a nearly $7,000 fine imposed by Oregon OSHA for failing to investigate injuries reported by four staff at the La Pine Elementary School Learning Lab on four occasions last year, an agency spokesman and school district officials said. The school district said they occurred "while supporting students with high levels of behavioral needs."

The school district provided this statement late Wednesday to NewsChannel 21:

"Four staff members at Rosland Elementary were injured while supporting students with high levels of behavioral needs.

"In each instance, the district promptly investigated and responded by convening the student’s educational team to create and record a safety plan for each student to prevent recurrence. Due to student record privacy laws, these student safety plans could not be shared with OSHA.

"In its citation, OSHA determined that the district should have a documentation practice to capture staff injury response efforts outside of the student’s safety plan. The district is in the process of implementing this practice.  

"Additionally, among efforts to reduce staff injuries, Bend-La Pine Schools is using state grant funds to increase the number of staff trained in nonviolent crisis intervention methods," the school district statement concluded.  

Oregon OSHA Public Information Officer Aaron Corvin confirmed the veracity of the June 6 citation for a “serious” violation and $6,916 penalty notification letter that was posted in at least two Facebook groups this week.

The letter gave the school district until July 8, next Monday, as a deadline “by which (the) violation must be abated.”

An OSHA investigation found that the school district did not investigate every injury that workers suffered in connection with their employment and that cost them time away from work, failing “to determine the means that should be taken to prevent recurrence,” the letter said.

“Injuries types include punching, kicking, scratching, etc., causing an employee injury to the muscle and other injuries to employees (bruising contusions, bleeding,” the letter stated.

The “lost-time injuries” occurred on four occasions last year, OSHA said: June 6, Sept. 21, Oct. 19 and Nov. 17, 2023.

The OSHA spokesman said the citation and fine resulted from an inspection, and that payment of the penalty does not absolve the school district of the agency’s requirement to correct the issues.

“The process is, they have to correct the violation,” Corvin said, adding that the employer can request an extension of the abatement deadline.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.


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