Letter to the Editor

Why the fines?

CambriaDecember 5, 2012 

It’s well established that Atascadero State Hospital is a dangerous place to work, and it’s no surprise that all of the state’s forensic hospitals share the same concerns. When the psychiatric technician union filed a complaint and Cal-OSHA responded by identifying problem areas and issuing citations — immediate action was needed — not “ongoing meetings and work groups.”

I doubt the psychiatric technician union president was exaggerating when stating they didn’t “want anybody to die.”

But I don’t understand why these citations carry a fine. Nine months ago, the penalties were $38,555, and this time around they are $25,675. That’s more than $64,000. Who ultimately pays these fines? Isn’t it always the taxpayer?

If you want these citations to have an impact, start firing the administrators who erase names from documents and keep incomplete records. After all, the money never comes out of their pockets.

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