Safety

Update your OSHA safety manual: Bloodborne pathogens violations, whistleblower protection, and vaccinations

OSHA Watch, September 1, 2009

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This month, Quality America provides readers with a detailed look at bloodborne pathogens violations in medical and dental practices and updates your manual on OSHA’s whistleblower protection function and CDC-recommended vaccinations for healthcare workers.

A close look at bloodborne pathogens fines
OSHA was out for blood—bloodborne pathogens violations that is—when inspectors visited medical and dental practices
in 2008.

OSHA Watch obtained an OSHA violations report for inspections of medical and dental practices from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009. In both settings, bloodborne pathogens violations, 1910.1030, constituted the majority of citations and accounted for most of the fines. OSHA issued 571 citations to medical practices; 405 (71%) involved the Bloodborne Pathogens standard. Dental practices followed suit with 268 citations; 199 (74%) of those involved the standard.

Exposure control plan problems accounted for the most frequent violations. Lack of engineering and work practice controls to eliminate or minimize employee exposure, (d)(2)(i), on average costs medical practices $626 per violation. The most frequent specific dental fine was $663 for not having a written exposure control plan designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure, (c)(1)(i).

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