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OSHA Regional News Brief
Region 3

Please note: Information in some news releases may be out of date or may no longer reflect OSHA policy.


Jan. 27, 2016


OSHA finds Allenwood federal prison workers lack safety gloves
to avoid punctures, infections from sharps

Employer name: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Correctional Institute Allenwood

Inspection site: Main Access Road and State Route 15, White Deer, Pennsylvania

Notices issued: On Jan. 22, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a notice to the medium security federal correctional facility after inspectors identified one willful violation.

Investigation findings: On July 23, 2015, OSHA inspected in response to a complaint alleging hazards involving exposure to needles and other sharps. Investigators determined the prison exposed its employees to sharps-related injuries while they performed pat downs and housing unit searches because the employer did not require the use of puncture resistant gloves in these activities. This resulted in the willful violation.

FCI Allenwood has 15 business days from receipt of the notices to comply or request an informal conference with OSHA's area director.

Quote: "Without puncture resistant gloves, Allenwood prison employees are at risk of puncture wounds and exposure to potentially contaminated sharps, as well as the dangers of infection caused by blood-borne pathogens," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Wilkes-Barre Area Office. "It is the employer's legal responsibility to ensure a safe and healthful workplace for prison employees."

View the notice:

As required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, federal agencies must comply with the same health and safety standards as private sector employers. The federal agency equivalent of a private sector citation is the notice of an unhealthful or unsafe working condition, which informs agency officials of violations. OSHA cannot propose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with its standards.

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 Wilkes-Barre Area Office at 570-826-6538.

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Media Contacts:

Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102,

Release Number: 16-38-PHI (ebsa 16-007 Global Research Services)

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