As one New Jersey nursing home recently found out, authorities not only take resident safety and health importantly, but also the well-being of those that work in such facilities.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 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.
“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.”
Excessive Heat Conditions Among Serious Violations
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.
Other 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, blood-borne 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.
The other-than-serious violation, with no associated penalty, was cited because the employer’s blood-borne pathogens program was not updated. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Carneys Point Care Center has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Marlton, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Principal, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: email@example.com.
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