health careOSHA 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.

"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.