Uncapped needles expose staff members to the risk of contracting a bloodborne pathogen.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – OSHA found 15 violations at Little Rock Veterans Hospital. Upon receiving the notice, the medical center corrected the negligence on the same day in order to avoid a penalty of up to $184,700. This is not the first time that a hospital was found to present hazardous irregularities.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, OSHA found 15 violations at Little Rock Veterans Hospital. It seems that the transgressions were simple oversights, but they had the potential of endangering both the hospital and the staff.
According to the report of the administration, the hospital staff was not using safety mechanisms on a particular table saw, the acetylene and oxygen cylinders were not equipped with adequate valve caps, the shafts, belts and pulleys were not properly guarded, and the personnel was not recapping contaminated needles as the provisions stipulate.
Carlos Reynolds, the area director of OSHA, declare in a press release that The Veterans Hospital that goes by the name of John McClellan repeatedly and willfully exposed its staff to bloodborne pathogens, amputation, electrocution and other dangers. He mentioned that the situation was unacceptable.
Juan Rodrigues, OSHA’s regional deputy director, is convinced that the Veterans Hospital was either showing plain indifference to the health and safety of its employees or was demonstrating an intentional disregard.
In order to prove that the hospital grounds were hazardous for both the patients and the staff, they used the example of an injured employee. It seems that a member of the hospital staff was injured due to a violation and was obligated to spend the night as a patient. The employee in cause suffered a mild electrocution and was able to return to work the next day.
Melanie Sabik, the hospital’s spokesperson, declared that the institution already implemented new signage, work practices policy changes, additional staff education and modifications of the work environment.
Furthermore, she stated that the hospital already hired outside experts and engineers that could help the staff make sure that all of the findings listed by OSHA were mitigated accordingly.
Sabik also said that the Little Rock Veterans Hospital always tries to ensure the proper treatment and safety of their staff, visitor and veterans. Moreover, she is looking forward to meeting with OSHA representatives in order for them to acknowledge that all of the adequate measures were taken, and the hospital is safe again.
One other hospital in Arkansas was found to present irregularities during a routine inspection. The management of the health institution was then penalized with $7,200.
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