$72,000 Needlestick penalty

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Intravenous news: Occupational Health & Safety report “OSHA has cited Paradise Park Assisted Living LLC in Lake Zurich, Ill., with 17 safety and health violations after a nurse practitioner allegedly was injured in a November 2010 needlestick incident. The facility faces penalties totaling $72,000.

“Employers are responsible for knowing the health and safety hazards that apply to their facilities, and for taking necessary precautions by following OSHA standards and providing workers with the proper training,” said Diane Turek, OSHA’s Chicago North Area Office director in Des Plaines. “For 40 years, OSHA has been committed to protecting workers, because no one should have to risk injury or death for a paycheck.”

Twelve serious health violations include failing to immediately test the blood of a source individual involved in a needlestick incident; ensure blood test results were communicated to the nurse practitioner; offer the hepatitis B vaccination to a caregiver with occupational exposure to blood within 10 working days of initial assignment; train employees in the hazards of chemicals present in their workspaces; maintain material safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals; identify the work area and provide an explanation of injuries in the sharps injury log; fully implement and annually train employees on the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, including post-exposure evaluation and follow-up emergency procedures; and ensure containers for disposal of contaminated sharps were easily accessible to nurses in order to minimize exposure.”

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