Medical Company Cited for Needle Hazards

A Massachusetts company is contesting two citations it received following an April inspection.

A New England medical service provider is facing more than $46,000 in fines for violating OSHA regulations. However, the company has contested the allegations.

New England Hematology/Oncology Associates PC was inspected by OSHA officials, who discovered that employees of the facility were being exposed to biohazards. The Newton, Mass. Company was inspected in April after employees filed a complaint that the needles used on cancer patients were not safety-engineered devices. Also, when removing needles from patients, employees were at risk of sticking themselves with the needles.

“OSHA found that the workers were potentially exposed to bloodborne pathogens from needlesticks because safer needle systems, such as automatically sheathing needles, were not used,” according to a statement released on the OSHA website. “The medical provider had been made aware by workers that a safer needle system was needed but continued to use a system that was not engineered to reduce the risk of injury.”

Two citations were issued. A willful one amounting to $42,000 for the mishandling of needles and another $4,9000 citation for “failing to review and update an exposure control plan.”

The company appealed the citations. More information can be found on the OSHA website.

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