March 9, 2016
OSHA inspectors find prison workers at two West Virginia federal facilities
still lack safety gloves to prevent sharps-related hazards
Employers: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Correctional Center Hazelton
U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Correctional Institution McDowell
Inspection sites: Hazelton FCC, 1640 Sky View Drive, Bruceton Mills, West Virginia
McDowell FCI, 101 Federal Drive, Welch, West Virginia
Notices issued: On Jan. 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a notice to FCC Hazelton after inspectors identified one willful, two repeat and one other-than serious violations.
The agency issued a notice to FCI McDowell on March 4, 2016 for one willful violation.
Inspection findings: On July 15, 2015, OSHA conducted a follow up inspection at FCC Hazelton after the prison failed to provide proof that it abated a violation cited previously. Agency inspectors originally cited the institution with a willful violation for not requiring prison employees who perform pat-down and housing-unit searches to wear puncture-resistant gloves, exposing workers to sharps-related hazards. OSHA also cited the prison for repeat violations for not training workers on the use of sharps containers and not using puncture-resistant containers during collection and transport of potentially contaminated items found in prisoner searches. The agency found similar violations in 2014 and 2015.
OSHA conducted a follow-up inspection at FCI McDowell on Sept. 2, 2015 to confirm the prison provided workers with puncture-resistant gloves for prisoner and housing-unit searches, after inspectors issued a notice for a willful violation earlier.
"Employees at Hazelton and McDowell need puncture-resistant gloves to avoid the unnecessary risk of puncture wounds from needles or other sharp objects that could be encountered during searches. These objects can expose workers to the dangers of infection by blood-borne pathogens like HIV or hepatitis," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office. "It only takes one cut or puncture wound for an employee to suffer a serious, life-altering health condition. Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe and healthful workplace for prison employees."
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 Charleston Area Office at (304) 347-5937.
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Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 16-468-PHI (OSHA 16-025 FCC Hazelton - FCI McDowell)
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