Getty Images
Getty Images 104117193

OSHA Cites Ohio Nursing Facilities

July 23, 2020
Company failed to protect workers from COVID-19.

As the novel coronavirus continues to run rampant through the nation's nursing home and medical facilities, OSHA has inspected one Ohio healthcare company for failing to protect its workers.

The agency has cited OHNH EMP LLC for failing to meet respiratory standards after an investigation following the COVID-related hospitalization of seven healthcare workers.

Loren Sweatt, principal deputy assistant secretary for Occupational Safety and Health reminded employers about OSHA's commitment to enforcement during the pandemic, saying, "It is critically important that employers take action to protect their employees during the pandemic, including by implementing effective respiratory protection programs. OSHA has and will continue to vigorously enforce the respiratory protection standard and all standards that apply to the coronavirus. As Secretary Scalia has said, ‘the cop is on the beat."

Three facilities in Ohio were inspected as part of OSHA's investigation: Pebble Creek Healthcare Center in Akron, and Salem West Healthcare Center and Salem North Healthcare Center in Salem. Two serious citations for each facility were issued for violation of respiratory protection standards including the failure to develop a comprehensive written program as well as a failure to provide respiratory-related medical evaluations.

In addition, the agency also announced a Hazard Alert Letter surrounding OHNH EMP LLC's lack of initial fit testing and allowing N95 respirators to be used for up to seven days. In total, the company is responsible for $40,482 penalties. 

"OSHA's investigation found that, although the company was making efforts to protect its employees from the coronavirus, it had not fully implemented an appropriate respiratory protection program," said Howard Eberts, Cleveland, Ohio area office director. "Employers are and will continue to be responsible for providing a workplace free of serious recognized hazards. In issuing this citation, OSHA relied on one of its preexisting standards that protect workers from the coronavirus."

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Work Safety Tips: 5 Tactics to Build Employee Engagement for Workplace Safety

March 13, 2024
Employee safety engagement strategies have become increasingly key to fostering a safer workplace environment. But, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!