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This is an excerpt from a member-only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe.

State OSHA agency fines hospital for alleged H1N1 slips

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May 1, 2010

When federal OSHA issued its compliance directive for healthcare worker protection against H1N1, many safety officers and infection preventionists worried that the requirement for N95 respirators was nearly impossible to comply with, given supply shortages. OSHA indicated that when respirators were not commercially available, an employer would be considered compliant if a “good faith effort” had been made to acquire N95s. Part of that effort included documenting attempts to order respirators and including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) H1N1 prevention guidelines in the facility’s respiratory protection plan. For those who were unsure how officials would enforce this directive, the state OSHA agency in Washington gave an early lesson. On January 29, Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA, received a citation and an $8,000 fine from the state Department of Labor and Industries’ (L&I) Division of Occupational Safety and Health for failing to adhere to state and national H1N1 safety standards.

On January 29, Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA, received a citation and an $8,000 fine from the state Department of Labor and Industries’ (L&I) Division of Occupational Safety and Health for failing to adhere to state and national H1N1 safety standards.

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