Needlestick Complaint Brings Sharp Response from OSHA

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: May 13th, 2013
Topics: Illness Injury Prevention Program |

needlestick event brings OSHA citationsIf a nurse or other health care professional suffers a needlestick from a contaminated needle, there is a strict protocol to be followed to ensure that the worker receives treatment to minimize the possibility of infection. When that doesn’t happen, the fallout can be serious.

Acting in response to a complaint, OSHA has cited an Englewood, NJ, surgical center for 10 serious violations of its bloodborne pathogens standard. The violations being alleged against CTO Management LLC, doing business as Health East Ambulatory Surgical Centre in Englewood, NJ, include failure to counsel an employee who was stuck with a contaminated needle, test the employee’s blood in a timely manner and provide the appropriate medicine to the employee to prevent contracting a potential disease.

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

OSHA is proposing $68,000 in penalties against CTO Management LLC. The company reportedly is contesting the violations, with Attorney Anthony Rainone stating that “no employee or patient has ever been infected at the center.”