An OSHA compliance officer investigating a complaint at a New Jersey hospital reviewed the hospital’s OSHA 300 logs and found something that lead to an additional inspection – and multiple citations.

What alerted that compliance officer: unusual amount of needle-stick and bloodborne pathogens exposure at Cooper Hospital in Camden.

Cooper has been cited for nine serious and six other-than-serious safety and health violations at the facility.

OSHA determined that the hospital failed to:

  • Provide employee training on the hazards of methylene chloride, a cancer-causing chemical.
  • Monitor employees who may be exposed to methylene chloride.
  • Immediately discard contaminated sharps in appropriate containers.
  • Ensure its bloodborne pathogens program included engineering controls to prevent needlesticks.

Incomplete OSHA 300 logs, the hospital’s failure to fit test temporary workers with the proper respirators or provide training on protocols related to exposures to blood and other potentially infectious materials, and an improperly labeled sharps container were among the other-than-serious violations.

“The citations and proposed penalties in this case reflect the seriousness of Cooper Hospital’s failure to protect its employees from needle-stick injuries and bloodborne pathogen hazards,” said Paula Dixon-Roderick, OSHA’s area director in Marlton. Proposed penalties: $55,000.