Cal/OSHA Cites Northridge Hospital

Employees were exposed to serious injuries, such as from sharps.

According to an agency news release, Cal/OSHA has cited Dignity Health, operator of Northridge Hospital Medical Center, for safety and health violations that exposed its 1,700 employees to hazards and potential injuries. The violations include a failure to record information in 18 cases where hospital workers were stuck with needles and failure to provide closeable containers in emergency rooms that would keep biohazard waste from spilling out.

Cal/OSHA's Van Nuys office opened an investigation in June based on a complaint. Investigators found 13 health code violations.

"California's health and safety requirements are some of the strongest in the nation, and they're meant to prevent hospital workers from becoming hospital patients," said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.

There were also four serious violations of the bloodborne pathogens standard, which requires employers to protect workers from coming into contact with blood or other disease-carrying body fluids.

Cal/OSHA issued eight general and regulatory violations because Dignity Health kept broken gurneys in the working area, skipped essential elements of training employees in safe patient handling, and failed to take corrective action after accidents occurred, according to the agency. Fines for all violations total $44,125.

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