Hebrew Home and Hospital Inc. has been cited by OSHA for 14 serious violations of workplace safety standards carrying proposed penalties of $58,800. The West Hartford health care facility was inspected under the agency's national emphasis program for nursing and residential care facilities.
OSHA found that the employer failed to conduct a hazard analysis, provide eye and face protection and provide readily accessible emergency eyewash stations for employees working with corrosive chemicals. Other hazards included an inadequate lockout/tagout policy to prevent the unintended activation of machinery during maintenance; inadequately guarded machinery; excess air pressure for a cleaning hose; improper disposal of flammable rags; inadequate bloodborne pathogen controls and procedures; and several electrical-related hazards. The hazards were found in the laundry, kitchen, maintenance shop, main electrical room, central supply area and pharmacy.
"If uncorrected, these conditions can expose workers to the hazards of chemical burns, electric shock, fire, bloodborne pathogens and being caught in operating machinery," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford.
OSHA's national emphasis program is focused on protecting workers from serious safety and health hazards that are common in medical industries. Through this program, OSHA is targeting nursing homes and residential care facilities to reduce occupational illnesses and injuries from exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material; exposure to hazardous chemicals; slips, trips and falls; communicable diseases; ergonomic stressors; and workplace violence.
Detailed information on health care industry hazards and safeguards is available at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/nursinghome/index.html.