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Region 4 News Release: 11-503-ATL (169)
April 25, 2011
Contact: Michael D'Aquino      Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076      404-562-2078
Email: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov      wald.michael@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA conducting inspections of
outpatient care centers in Alabama to reduce needlestick hazards

ATLANTA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is announcing a new emphasis program focused on reducing the number of needlestick and sharps injuries in Alabama at ambulatory surgical care centers, freestanding emergency care clinics and primary care medical clinics that provide acute, chronic and emergency care on an as-needed or walk-in basis.

"Needlestick and other sharps-related injuries that expose workers to bloodborne pathogens continue to be an important public health concern," said Cindy Coe, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta. "Employers must take seriously their responsibility to protect workers from these health risks."

In addition to Alabama, OSHA will visit a sample of selected health-related facilities in other southeastern states, including Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, to review each establishment's processes and programs designed to protect workers from bloodborne hazards. Those inspections will focus on bloodborne pathogen hazards associated with exposure to contaminated sharps devices. Establishments of all sizes with varying numbers of workers will be inspected.

OSHA area offices also will continue to open inspections in response to complaints that include allegations of sharps/needlestick hazard exposures.

The regional emphasis program begins April 25 and will continue until Sept. 30, 2012, unless it is extended. Additional information is available by contacting Benjamin Ross at 678-237-0424.

To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742). 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.

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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 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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