Friday, April 26, 2013

OSHA Regional News Release

Region 3 News Release: 13-635-PHI (osha 13-035)
April 18, 2013
Contact: Joanna Hawkins      Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5101      215-861-5102
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Keystone Pain Institute in Altoona, Pa.,
for bloodborne pathogen hazards

ALTOONA, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Keystone Pain Institute with eight serious health violations involving bloodborne pathogen hazards at the company's Altoona facility. The February inspection by OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office was prompted by a complaint and resulted in $46,800 in proposed penalties.

The serious violations include the company's failure to conduct a written hazard assessment; provide workers with the Hepatitis B vaccination series and training on bloodborne pathogens; provide a written cleaning schedule; utilize engineering controls for sharps (IV catheters); properly color code and construct regulated waste containers to prevent leakage; implement adequate procedures for handling of blood or other potentially infectious materials to minimize splashing; and include an exposure determination in the written exposure control plan. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

"Employers must protect workers who are occupationally exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials," said Christopher Robinson, director of the OSHA Pittsburgh Area Office. "All medical facilities have a duty to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees."

Keystone Pain Institute, one of seven clinics operated by Lighthouse Medical LLC in Altoona, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Pittsburgh or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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