Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nursing home cited for workplace hazards

OSHA fines New Jersey nursing home for exposing workers to excessive heat and health hazards

CARNEYS POINT, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Carneys Point Care Center for 10 alleged serious violations and one other-than-serious violation found at the nursing home in Carneys Point.

OSHA's May inspection was initiated as part of the agency's national emphasis program for nursing and residential care facilities.

Nursing facilities can harbor many
health hazards.
"The increasing rate of injuries and illnesses among hospital and health care workers underscores OSHA's concern about the safety and health of these workers," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office.

"The workers that care for our loved ones deserve a safe workplace. OSHA is committed to ensuring effective hazard prevention measures nationwide."

Among the serious violations cited involves OSHA's general duty clause because workers in the laundry department were exposed to excessive levels of heat. OSHA proposed a fine of $6,300 for this violation.

Serious violations, carrying $42,300 in proposed penalties, include

  • failing to ensure workers wore appropriate eye protection; 
  • ensure easy access to a sharps container; 
  • correct exposed wires from an industrial washer; 
  • provide suitable eyewash facilities, bloodborne pathogen training, Hepatitis B vaccines and effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in the workplace; 
  • properly use flexible electrical cords and label hazardous chemical containers; 
  • develop a written hazard communication program; and 
  • have material safety data sheets and safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical used in the workplace. 

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

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).

Source: OSHA

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