Safety

Learning from OSHA violations

Hospital Safety Insider, April 2, 2015

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Any hospital safety officer will tell you one of the things he or she dreads the most is an unannounced, surprise inspection from OSHA or an accreditation agency. At best, it's a learning experience, but if you get hit with a violation and fine after the inspection it usually means your facility did something wrong. So when a suburban Boston hospital was faced with a surprise OSHA inspection for suspected bloodborne pathogens and sharps safety violations, the administration decided to turn it into a learning moment to help make the facility better.

Although OSHA officials declined to comment, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose, Massachusetts, part of the Hallmark Health System, was penalized $28,000 (eventually reduced to $22,000) for several violations of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard, as well as a safe sharps violation, according to a report from WBZ-TV.

The fines stemmed from complaints received about the conditions at the hospital—presumably from a confidential employee complaint—which triggered an OSHA inspection of the facility in April 2014.

Hospital officials asked to comment about the report were straightforward about the incident and shared the lessons they learned.

This is an excerpt from an article in Briefings on Hospital Safety. Visit here to log in or subscribe.

 



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