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Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Should OSHA Issue Press Releases About Proposed Citations?

On March 5th OSHA put out a press release that stated:

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited CTO Management LLC, doing business as Health East Ambulatory Surgical Center, with 10 serious violations for bloodborne pathogen hazards found at its Englewood facility. OSHA's August 2012 investigation was initiated in response to a complaint and resulted in $68,000 in proposed penalties.

"If an employee is stuck with a needle, they must be afforded appropriate follow-up medical care to minimize any potential effect," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's area office in Hasbrouck Heights. "All medical facilities have a duty to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees."

An article on the NJ.com states that the Health East Ambulatory Surgical Center, "is formally disputing all of OSHA'S claims." The attorney for Health East stated: "No employee or patient has ever been infected at the center. We think it was premature of OSHA to issue a press release on what were nothing more than proposed penalties."

When OSHA puts out a press release that includes a statement such as the one above by OSHA's Lisa Levy, it sounds as though there is no doubt that Health East is guilty of these violations. OSHA has made it clear that they use press releases a tool to put fear of OSHA in industry. I cannot remember ever seeing a press release from OSHA that gives the final outcome. Which proposed citations became final and how much was the actual fine, not the proposed fine? This would be more helpful information as it would show what was actually a safety issue.

What do you think? Should OSHA publicize proposed citations and penalties, or would you prefer to get information about actual citations and penalties?

Note: In this blog we report on significant OSHA citations, which are those with proposed fines greater than $100,000. Our goal is to just report the facts of the proposed citations and proposed fines. For example, we rarely include the statements from OSHA officials as a part of our reporting.

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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3 Comments:

Anonymous Bob Williams said...

The purposes of the "press release" are many. I am ashamed that these take place, but they do!
1) The "look what we did" bureaucratic mentality that is under the impression that the more times they appear in and on the press, the more their superiors will recognize them.
2) The"self-gratification angel" for the immature mind.
3) And lastly, to be just plain mean and vindictive!

2:36 AM  
Blogger Steve Hudgik said...

I just read a post on another web site about citations listed in the OSHA database. Once a citation is entered in the database it cannot be removed. A person raised the point that their company had received an OSHA citation and had successfully contested it. But, the OSHA records still show them as having been cited by OSHA. The blog posy is at:

http://blog.osha4you.com/citations/osha-enforcement-data-searching-oshas-citation-database/

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3In this case, it's justified. This employer did not document or handle multiple sharps injuries, and many of their staff members are brand new and too naive to understand how the process should work. The person mentioned here was exposed to something life-threatening and found out much later, when prophylactic post-exposure medications wouldn't be helpful. They're lucky they are have amazing lawyers and a lot of financial support, or they likely would have been closed down by now.

7:09 AM  

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