Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Among Hazards Cited at N.Y. Laundry

Inadequate employee safeguards at a Buffalo, N.Y., industrial laundry have resulted in a total of $77,125 in proposed fines from OSHA. Sodexho Inc. was cited for 13 alleged repeat and serious violations of safety and health standards following OSHA inspections at the 60 Grider St. location begun in January 2008 in response to employee complaints.

"These citations address employees' exposure to a variety of hazards including falls, burns, electrocution, explosions, confined spaces, respiratory hazards, bloodborne pathogens, lack of personal protective equipment, and being caught in unguarded or unexpectedly energized driers and other machinery," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "It is of paramount importance that these conditions be addressed effectively and quickly."

OSHA issued six repeat citations, carrying $63,100 in proposed fines, for the lack of procedures and training to prevent the unexpected startup of dryers and other equipment while employees were working on them; accumulations of dust, lint, and debris on work surfaces or in work areas; using an electrical extension cord in place of permanent wiring; no bloodborne pathogen training for employees exposed to contaminated clothing and sharp instruments; and no log for recording injuries from sharp instruments. The employer was previously cited for these infractions in 2005 and 2006 at Sodexho facilities in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Portland, Maine.

The Buffalo facility also was issued seven serious citations, with $14,025 in fines, for unguarded open pits and runways; unguarded moving conveyor parts; failure to identify and label confined spaces; lack of personal protective equipment; using an electrical conduit cover as a walkway; and inadequate respiratory protection.

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