Region 2 News Release: NY 154
May 30, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK AMBULANCE COMPANIES CITED BY OSHA FOR FAILURE TO ABATE SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS ; $56,000 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U. S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Community Ambulette Services, Inc., and First Help Ambulance and Ambulette, Inc., doing business as Community Medical Transport, of 4 Gannett Drive in White Plains, New York, and proposed penalties of $56,000 against the firms, alleging two failure-two-abate notices and four repeat, five serious, and two other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards.
According to Lisa Levy, acting OSHA area director, the citations result from a follow-up inspection conducted from December 10, 1999, through January 27, 2000, of the companies' facilities at 58 Worth Street in Yonkers. OSHA alleges that the companies failed to correct or abate previous safety and health violations by allowing employees to continue to be exposed to blood borne pathogens, violations for which the companies were originally cited on May 12, 1998.
OSHA cited First Help Ambulance and Ambulette for failure to properly implement its employee exposure control plan, and it cited Community Ambulette Services for failure to properly protect employees from exposure to blood borne pathogens by providing gloves and antiseptic wipes. The two alleged failure to abate notices carry a total proposed penalty of $19,100.
"It is of grave concern to OSHA when employers who have been previously cited fail to take proper and appropriate corrective action so that their workers do not continue to be exposed to potentially life-threatening hazards", Levy said.
Both companies were also cited by OSHA for not ensuring that employees exposed to blood borne pathogens attended training, and for not maintaining the required OSHA log of injuries and illnesses, a total of four alleged repeat violations carrying proposed penalties of $25,400. The companies were previously cited on May 12, 1998, for the same alleged serious violations.
First Help Ambulance and Ambulette was also cited for not providing antiseptic wipes for employees where washing facilities were not immediately available and for not maintaining hepatitis B vaccination and training records for employees, two alleged serious violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $4,500. Community Ambulette Services was cited for failure to implement an effective employee blood borne pathogen exposure control plan, failure to maintain hepatitis B vaccination and training records, and failure to provide employees with annual training in the dangers of blood borne pathogens, three alleged serious violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $7,000.
OSHA also cited the companies for two alleged other-than-serious violations which did not carry any proposed penalty.
A failure to abate is a notice of additional penalty issued against an employer who has failed to correct a violation which has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. A repeat violation is one for which an employer has previously been cited for the same or for a substantially similar violation, and which has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Tarrytown area office, located at 660 White Plains Road, 4th Floor, Tarrytown, N. Y. Telephone: (914) 524-7510.
The company has until June 15 to contest the citations.
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