NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WKBN) – The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing nearly $236,000 in penalties for a North Lima medical transport company after the agency says employees were at risk for infection and disease due to company practices.
The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Lifefleet LLC for four willful, seven serious and three other-than-serious health violations after a complaint prompted a February 2015 inspection.
Inspectors found that Lifefleet did not properly protect employees who transport patients from exposure to blood and other bodily fluids. Exposure may lead to serious diseases, such as hepatitis or human immunodeficiency.
“Workers risking exposure to bloodborne pathogens must have clean clothing, personal protective equipment and be medically evaluated when an exposure occurs,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Failing to protect workers from pathogens that can cause life-threatening diseases is unacceptable. As a medical service provider, Lifefleet should be setting the standard in employee protection, not ignoring it.”
Inspectors found Lifefleet did not protect workers from bloodborne pathogens by failing to clean, launder or dispose of personal protective equipment and clothing, by not ensuring medical evaluations and procedures, including blood tests, were made available quickly to employees after an exposure, and by not providing employees with the results of pose-exposure evaluation tests.
OSHA determined that Lifefleet did not require employees to use gloves and face masks when contacting infectious materials. The company failed to train workers about hazardous workplace chemicals, and did not review and update the exposure control plan annually.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply.
WKBN contacted Lifefleet about the allegations but they did not respond.