Top 10 OSHA Citations in Medical Offices
OSHA recently fined a New York medical practice almost $45,000 for inadequate worker safeguards against blood-borne pathogen hazards. The citations included the lack of a written exposure control program outlining the protective measures used to eliminate or minimize workers’ exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials, failing to provide employees properly fitted protective wear and training in its use, failing to offer the Hepatitis B vaccine to at-risk employees, allowing sharps containers to overfill and allowing employees to recap non-engineered contaminated needles.
Listed below are the most common violations for medical practices, many of which the New York practice was cited for, as indicated by asterisks.
1. Failure to implement and maintain an exposure control under the Blood-borne Pathogen Standard (BBP);**
2. Failure to train under the BBP Standard;**
3. Failure to engineer out hazards/ensure hand washing under the BBP Standard;**
4. Poor housekeeping under the BBP Standard;**
5. Failure to implement and maintain a written a Hazard Communication Program;
6. Failure to make the Hepatitis B vaccination available under the BBP Standard;**
7. Failure to prepare exposure determinations under the BBP Standard;
8. Failure use personal protective equipment under the BBP Standard;**
9. Failure to provide post exposure Hepatitis B vaccinations under the BBP Standard; and
10. Failure to train employees under the Hazard Communications Standard.**
To avoid potential areas of non-compliance, you should regularly audit your practice for safety and health hazards. Employee training and periodic refresher training is also essential, especially regarding the Blood-borne Pathogen and Hazard Communication Standards.