A North Lima, Ohio-based ambulance company faces penalties totaling $235,800 for 14 alleged workplace health and safety violations, according to federal safety officials.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration said an investigation found that Lifefleet LLC did not properly protect employees who transport patients from exposure to blood and other bodily fluids.
OSHA cited Lifefleet on July 31 for four willful, seven serious and three other-than-serious health violations after a complaint prompted a February 2015 inspection.
Inspectors found Lifefleet did not protect workers from bloodborne pathogens by:
- Failing to clean, launder or dispose of personal protective equipment and clothing at no cost to employees.
- Not ensuring medical evaluations and procedures, including blood tests, were made available quickly to employees after an exposure.
- Not providing employees with the results of postexposure evaluation tests.
- Failing to train workers on health hazards and precautions to prevent exposure.
OSHA determined that Lifefleet did not require employees to use gloves and facemasks when contacting infectious materials. The company failed to train workers about hazardous workplace chemicals, and did not review and update the exposure control plan annually. It also failed to establish and maintain a sharps injury log.
Inspectors also found the company exposed workers to slip and fall hazards from standing water in the ambulance bay and obstructed exit routes.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in the Cleveland Area Office, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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