OSHA, the governmental agency responsible for ensuring safe working conditions, has imposed a substantial fine against a Chicagoland assisted living facility due to health and safety concerns. The Chicago Sun Times reported that Paradise Park faces 17 safety violations and $72,000 in fines that center around the way the facility handled a 2010 incident in which a nurse practitioner was stuck with a dirty needle after tending to a resident.
- Failing to immediately test the blood of an individual involved in a needle stick incident
- Failing to ensure that the results of blood tests were communicated to the nurse practitioner involved in the incident
- Failing to provide a hepatitis B vaccine to the employee within 10 days of her exposure
- Inadequately training employees about safety in the workplace
Given the opportunity of these dangerous conditions to cause serious harm to employees, I am certainly glad that OSHA got involved. However, while employee safety is indeed important, what about the safety of the residents at this facility. How many of them were potentially exposed to contaminated needles as a result of this sloppy care?
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.