US Labor Department's OSHA cites Keystone Pain Institute in Altoona, Pa.,
for bloodborne pathogen hazards
ALTOONA, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Keystone Pain Institute with eight serious health violations involving bloodborne pathogen hazards at the company's Altoona facility. The February inspection by OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office was prompted by a complaint and resulted in $46,800 in proposed penalties.
The serious violations include the company's failure to conduct a written hazard assessment; provide workers with the Hepatitis B vaccination series and training on bloodborne pathogens; provide a written cleaning schedule; utilize engineering controls for sharps (IV catheters); properly color code and construct regulated waste containers to prevent leakage; implement adequate procedures for handling of blood or other potentially infectious materials to minimize splashing; and include an exposure determination in the written exposure control plan. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
"Employers must protect workers who are occupationally exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials," said Christopher Robinson, director of the OSHA Pittsburgh Area Office. "All medical facilities have a duty to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees."
Keystone Pain Institute, one of seven clinics operated by Lighthouse Medical LLC in Altoona, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Pittsburgh or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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 Pittsburgh Area Office at 412-395-4903.
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, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 252-693-7828 or TTY 252-693-7755.