The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued six health and safety citations during an inspection at a veterans’ healthcare center in Saginaw, Michigan.
OSHA discovered that employees at the Aleda E. Lutz Veterans Administration Medical Center were being exposed to asbestos and bloodborne pathogens thanks to the facility’s negligent safety practices.
Five serious violations involved a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). Employees facing exposure to blood droplets, spatter and other infectious materials were not required to wear facemasks or eye protection.
The medical center also failed to safely decontaminate all surfaces in the facility, increasing the odds of infection or cross-contamination. Bloodborne pathogens can expose workers to a host of harmful diseases, including hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Management also failed to train employees with housekeeping duties about the dangers of asbestos, leaving them vulnerable to harmful exposure. Asbestos can lead to harmful buildups of scar tissue in the lungs, known as asbestosis, lung cancer and other respiratory problems.
What Can I Do If My Job Caused My Illness?
Some employers try to avoid liability for occupational illnesses, because they require longer exposure, but a good attorney could help you fight back. Knowing your rights could help you demand the benefits you deserve and introduce safer practices to your workplace.
Larrimer & Larrimer has been protecting Ohio workers since 1929. For more information on harmful exposure, follow us on Facebook or Twitter. If you are currently suffering from an occupational illness, share your story with one of our licensed attorneys today.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys