Hospital Cited for Hazardous Exposures to Formaldehyde

 

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries announced April 3 it has fined a Clark County hospital $255,800 in proposed penalties for numerous violations of hygiene standards for failing to protect workers from hazardous exposures to formaldehyde. The Department notes that formaldehyde is a carcinogen that can cause irreversible respiratory illness, as well as irritation and severe burns and sensitization.

L&I cited the Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver for four "willful," seven "serious," and one general violation of workplace hygiene rules involving training, handling, air sampling and monitoring, spill prevention and cleanup of formaldehyde, and medical evaluations of employees who were exposed. The inspection began in September 2007, when an L&I inspector conducting an inspection at a pathology lab located in the hospital observed a hospital employee working with formaldehyde under circumstances indicating a possible overexposure, which was later confirmed.

The hospital was cited for failure to:

  • Provide training and information to employees who may work with formaldehyde.
  • Conduct airborne exposure evaluations, when required.
  • Control employee exposure to formaldehyde.
  • Include formaldehyde protection in the hospital's respiratory protection program.
  • Ensure that formaldehyde spills were properly and safely cleaned up.
  • Provide an emergency eye wash in areas where formaldehyde was used or dispensed.
  • Provide medical evaluations to all employees who have been or will be exposed.
  • Establish exposure-control areas as required.
  • Develop a comprehensive chemical exposure plan to protect employees.
  • Develop an emergency response plan for chemical spills.
  • Train employees in emergency response to spills.

The hospital has 15 business days to appeal the citation.

Product Showcase

  • Safety Shower Test Cart

    The Safety Shower Test Cart speeds up and simplifies emergency shower tests, ensures you stay in compliance with OSHA regulations, and significantly reduces testing costs. With 7 unique features, the cart makes testing easy, effective, and efficient. You can test water clarity, flow, temperature, and spread—all at the same time! Most safety shower testing kits create a mess, take too much time to use, and don't fully help you stay in compliance with OSHA & ANSI standards. Transform the way you test emergency showers with Green Gobbler Safety. Read More

  • AirChek Connect Sampling Pump

    Stay connected to your sampling with the SKC AirChek® Connect Sampling Pump! With its Bluetooth connection to PC and mobile devices, you can monitor AirChek Connect pump operation without disrupting workflow. SKC designed AirChek Connect specifically for all OEHS professionals to ensure accurate, reliable flows from 5 to 5000 ml/min and extreme ease of use. AirChek Connect offers easy touch screen operation and flexibility. It is quality built to serve you and the workers you protect. Ask about special pricing and a demo at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. Read More

  • Preventative Heat Safety

    Dehydration and heat exposure impair physical and cognitive performance. Proper hydration boosts heat stress resilience, but hydration needs are highly individualized and hard to predict across a workforce. Connected Hydration® empowers industrial athletes to stay safe through behavioral interventions, informed by sports science, and equips safety teams with critical insights to anticipate high-risk situations and adapt to evolving environmental factors. Curious about applying the latest in sports science based hydration strategies for industrial athletes? Stop by booth #1112 at AIHA or schedule a free demo today at https://epcr.cc/demo. Read More

Featured

Artificial Intelligence