US Labor Department's OSHA cites West Hartford, Conn., health care facility
for chemical, electrical, machine guarding hazards; proposes $58,800 in fines
HARTFORD, Conn. – Hebrew Home and Hospital Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 14 serious violations of workplace safety standards carrying proposed penalties of $58,800. The West Hartford health care facility was inspected under OSHA's national emphasis program for nursing and residential care facilities.
OSHA found that the employer failed to conduct a hazard analysis, provide eye and face protection and provide readily accessible emergency eyewash stations for employees working with corrosive chemicals. Other hazards included an inadequate lockout/tagout policy to prevent the unintended activation of machinery during maintenance; inadequately guarded machinery; excess air pressure for a cleaning hose; improper disposal of flammable rags; inadequate bloodborne pathogen controls and procedures; and several electrical-related hazards. The hazards were found in the laundry, kitchen, maintenance shop, main electrical room, central supply area and pharmacy.
"If uncorrected, these conditions can expose workers to the hazards of chemical burns, electric shock, fire, bloodborne pathogens and being caught in operating machinery," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "Effective steps must be taken to correct these conditions and prevent their recurrence."
OSHA's national emphasis program is focused on protecting workers from serious safety and health hazards that are common in medical industries. Through this program, OSHA is targeting nursing homes and residential care facilities to reduce occupational illnesses and injuries from exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material; exposure to hazardous chemicals; slips, trips and falls; communicable diseases; ergonomic stressors; and workplace violence. Detailed information on health care industry hazards and safeguards is available at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/nursinghome/index.html.
Hebrew Home and Hospital Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Hartford office at 860-240-3152.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.