MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- American Family Care Inc. in Montgomery has been cited with three serious health violations carrying proposed penalties of $44,000 following an April inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA initiated the inspection as a part of the agency's regional emphasis program for reducing sharps injuries in urgent care centers, medical clinics and ambulatory surgical centers.
One repeat violation, with a penalty of $38,500, has been cited for failing to provide workers with a safety engineered butterfly-style needle for phlebotomy. The same violation was cited during a March 2012 inspection. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
One serious violation, with a penalty of $5,500, has been cited for failing to monitor radiation exposure for workers who operate X-ray machines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
One other-than-serious violation, with no monetary penalties, was also cited for failing to provide a warning sign about the hazards of radiation in the X-ray room. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
'Sharps-related injuries and radiation exposure are serious hazards that must be removed and closely monitored to maintain a safe environment for workers,' said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. 'Providing a safe work environment must be an employer's number one priority.'
American Family Care Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.