The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited an Ohio company that manages nursing homes for four health violations. Exposure of the staff to biological hazards in the facility will cost the company about $90,000. The company has been cited for similar violations in the past. The exposure of workers to pathogens can result in serious illnesses, which can even be fatal.
One of the charges, which is also one of the repeat violations, involves the failure to include procedures for occupational exposure to biological hazards in the exposure control plan for the facility. One of the ‘serious’ violations — which OSHA defines as a situation where there is a substantial probability for serious or fatal physical harm — is the failure to maintain and injury log for needle sticks. This log is required by OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standards, and shows a clear neglect on the part of the business for its employees. Serious violations are issued where there is a risk of grave injury that the company is aware could be a possibility.
The potential risk for needle sticks are serious, and could result in the transmission of fatal blood borne diseases, including hepatitis and HIV. It is so important in medical facilities to be vigilant about contaminations and the possible infection of staff from medical equipment. It is the employer’s responsibility to adhere to OSHA standards and ensure the health and safety of their employees.
People who are injured at work may not know where to turn for legal advice. Consulting an experienced attorney in worker’s injuries and compensation can present options that those injured may not have known were open to them.