Skip to main content

Comments on Natchaug Hospital’s OSHA Citations Over Safety Violations During the Pandemic

State and local union leaders and activists made the following public remarks regarding the federal worksite agency’s months-long investigation at the behavioral health facility:

“Hartford HealthCare (HHC)’s executives should be responsible for ensuring its nurses and health professionals are properly equipped to provide safe patient care,” said AFT Connecticut President John Brady, RN. “OSHA’s citations are a step toward ensuring that is the case. It is unconscionable to direct frontline caregivers to fight COVID-19 without providing adequate protections. Allowing them to get sick or spread the virus is the height of irresponsibility,” added Brady, who previously worked as a nurse in the William W. Backus Hospital’s emergency department (ED).
Natchaug Hospital Unions United President Karen Ashlaw said, “we joined our sisters and brothers at Backus and Windham Hospitals at the peak of the pandemic to appeal for public support. It’s important for the community to have the backs of frontline workers risking their lives to keep others safe. At the same time, we want our neighbors to know we have their backs, too. Raising safety concerns shows that our nurses, therapists and teachers are fully committed to patients’ health and well-being," added Ashlaw, a special education teacher at Natchaug’s Joshua Center Northeast.
“These citations don’t just validate the safety concerns we raised for ourselves and our colleagues,” said Jennifer Pratt, RN, an at-large delegate in Natchaug Hospital Unions United. “They reinforce the value of nurses advocating for our patients beyond the bedside. Speaking out for safe working conditions is a responsibility that we take seriously. It’s a role for which we have the full backing of our local, state and national unions; something all caregivers deserve,” added Pratt, a psychiatric inpatient nurse at Natchaug Hospital.
# # #
Natchaug Hospital Unions United, AFT Local 5052, represents approximately 200 registered nurses, therapists and educators at the Hartford HealthCare (HHC)-owned Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield and its satellite behavioral care facilities. The AFT Connecticut-affiliated local is part of the Hartford HealthCare Organization of Professional Employees (HOPE) coalition.

Share This