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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Violation Detail

Standard Cited:5A0001 OSH Act General Duty Paragraph

Violation Items

Nr: 1363448.015 Citation: 01001 Issuance: 04/17/2019 ReportingID: 0112000

Viol Type:Serious NrInstances:1 Contest Date:05/08/2019
Abatement Date:06/04/2019 Nr Exposed:16 Final Order:
Initial Penalty: $11,366.00 REC:C Emphasis:
Current Penalty: $11,366.00 Gravity:05 Haz Category:

Substance: 0020 Acetic Acid
Substance: 1470 Hydrogen Peroxide (90%)
Substance: P230  

Penalty and Failure to Abate Event History
Type Event Date Penalty Abatement Type FTA Insp
Penalty Z: Issued 04/17/2019 $11,366.00 06/04/2019 Serious  
Penalty :   05/13/2019 $11,366.00 06/04/2019 Serious  

Text For Citation: 01 Item/Group: 001 Hazard:

OSH ACT of 1970 Section (5)(a)(1): The employer did not furnish employment and a place of employment which were free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees in that employees who were responsible for cleaning patient rooms were required to use a disinfectant that caused them to suffer eye, upper airway, and lower airway symptoms. HOSPITAL-WIDE: On or about and at times prior to December 6, 2018, Environmental Services Technicians were required to use a sporicidal disinfectant containing hydrogen peroxide (HP), peracetic acid (PAA), and acetic acid (AA) when cleaning patient rooms. The employees experienced asthma-like symptoms; chest tightness; burning sensations in their throats, eyes, and nasal passages; and rashes. The hospital discontinued use of the product in the Maternity/Labor and Delivery Unit after it was determined that patients became ill when the product was used. Inhalation exposure to peracetic acid can irritate the lungs causing coughing and/or shortness of breath. Higher exposures can cause pulmonary edema. High or repeated exposure may affect the liver and kidneys. Among other methods, feasible and acceptable means to abate the hazards related to the use of this product include: (1) Employer implementation of engineering and administrative controls such as: · Minimize the use of sporicidal products in non-patient care areas. · Ensure that the product dispensers are calibrated to effectively dilute the product to a pH of 3. If it is not effectively diluted, a pH of less than 3 may increase skin, eye, and respiratory symptoms in exposed employees. · Require lids for all of the product buckets to minimize generation of HP, PAA, and AA vapors that can be inhaled. · Ensure that employees use only rags and wipes to apply the product to surfaces and that the product not be used as a spray. · Require all employees to wear extended cuff nitrile or rubber gloves when using the product and goggles or a face shield while dispensing and pouring the product into or out of the bucket on their cleaning cart. · Ensure that all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems meet all ASHRAE standards. Specifically, ensure that additional airflow is provided to Environmental Services Utility Closets to meet the ASHRAE requirement of a minimum of 10 air changes per hour. · Ensure that all patient bathrooms meet minimum total air changes per hour as specified by ASHRAE. ASHRAE Standard 2013-170 requires inpatient bathrooms to have at least 10 air changes per hour. · Consider implementing a comprehensive system for reporting and tracking workplace injuries and illnesses including reports of near-misses, minor injuries and illnesses, and employee safety concerns. This information should be reviewed by the Safety Officer/Committee on a regular basis to identify hazards, implement risk-reduction strategies, and prevent significant injuries and illnesses. · Provide workplace accommodations to employees who develop work-related symptoms after exposure to sporicidal products containing HP, PAA, and AA. (2) Employee participation: · Report patient rooms or bathrooms with no ventilation or airflow to your manager. · Wear extended cuff nitrile or rubber gloves when using the sporicidal product. Wear goggles or a face shield when dispensing and pouring the product into or out of the bucket on your cleaning cart. · Do not use a spray bottle to apply the product. · Keep a lid on the product bucket whenever possible to minimize the release of HP, PAA, and AA vapors that can be inhaled. · Report new, persistent, or worsening symptoms to your personal healthcare provider and, as instructed by your employer, to a designated individual at your workplace.

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