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Region 2 News Release: BOS 2003-059
April 8, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
For Alleged Violations Of Safety And Health Standards
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A Buffalo nursing home's failure to adequately protect its workers against bloodborne pathogens, falls, and other hazards has resulted in $62,200 in proposed fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Ridge View Manor, a Zacher Healthcare facility, of 300 Dorrance Ave., was cited for alleged repeat and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following an inspection conducted under OSHA's national emphasis program for nursing and personal care facilities. Ridge View Manor is the fifth Zacher Healthcare facility to be inspected by OSHA in the Buffalo area; the third since 2002.
The bulk of the fines, $52,700, are proposed for six alleged "repeat" violations. The violations include failure to provide specific "lockout/tagout" procedures and training for maintenance workers to prevent the start-up of machinery undergoing repairs or maintenance; not having a fall protection program and training for employees exposed to falls while performing maintenance work on the facility's roof; no eye protection for employees working with corrosive cleaners; improper storage of sharps containers; an incomplete blood borne pathogen training program and incomplete records for same.
The citations were classified as repeat because OSHA cited Zacher Healthcare's facility in Hamburg, N.Y., for substantially similar hazards in July.
"An employer must provide and ensure required safeguards for its workers at all of its facilities," said Art Dube, OSHA's Buffalo area director. "There can be no exceptions, especially in an industry that ranks high in injuries and illnesses."
Ridge View Manor was also cited for four alleged serious violations, with $9,500 in proposed fines, for improper storage of compressed gas cylinders; no post vaccine follow-ups for employees; failure to supply the Hepatitis B vaccine in a timely manner; and failure to provide initial and annual bloodborne pathogen training. OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there us a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition about which the employer knew or should have known.
Ridge View Manor has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA's Buffalo area office at 5360 Genesee St., Bowmansville, NY, conducted the investigation. The telephone number is (716) 684-3891. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For further information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202)693-7755.
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