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Region 2


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U.S. Department of Labor | April 14, 2016

OSHA finds Cooper Hospital exposed employees
to needle-stick injuries, bloodborne pathogen hazards
Hospital facing $55K in fines for 15 cited violations

Employer's name: Cooper University Hospital

Inspection site: One Cooper Plaza, Camden, New Jersey

Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to Cooper Hospital for nine serious and six other-than-serious safety and health violations.

Investigation findings: OSHA opened the inspection on Oct. 22, 2015, after a compliance officer investigating a separate complaint reviewed the hospital's OSHA 300 logs and found there was an unusual amount of needle-stick and bloodborne pathogens exposure.

Inspectors issued serious citations after determining the hospital failed to:

  • Provide employee training on the hazards of methylene chloride, a cancer-causing chemical.
  • Monitor employees who may be exposed to methylene chloride.
  • Immediately discard contaminated sharps in appropriate containers.
  • Ensure its bloodborne pathogens program included engineering controls to prevent needlesticks.

Incomplete OSHA 300 logs, the hospital's failure to fit test temporary workers with the proper respirators or provide training on protocols related to exposures to blood and other potentially infectious materials, and an improperly labeled sharps container were among the other-than-serious violations.

Quote: "The citations and proposed penalties in this case reflect the seriousness of Cooper Hospital's failure to protect its employees from needle-stick injuries and bloodborne pathogen hazards," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, OSHA's area director in Marlton. "The hospital must continue monitoring and investing in sustained efforts to prevent these injuries from jeopardizing worker safety and health."

Proposed penalties: $55,000

The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CooperHosp_1100618_0408_16.pdf*

Cooper Hospital has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference 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 amputations, eye loss, 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 Marlton Area Office at 856-596-5200.

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.

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Media Contacts:

Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101, hawkins.joanna@dol.gov
Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102, uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-772-NEW (osha 16-041)


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