The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a September 1st news release alleging violations by Quest Diagnostic Corp. (“Quest”).
Quest is stated to be a diagnostic laboratory located in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
OSHA states that it undertook a March 6th, 2016 inspection of the company’s Bridgeport office, allegedly identifying violations of the agency’s Laboratory Safety Standard. The Laboratory Safety Standard requires employers to protect their employees against the effects of hazardous chemicals used in laboratories. Such safeguards are stated to include a chemical hygiene plan identifying the employer’s policies, procedures and responsibilities for protecting employees.
OSHA alleges that the laboratory did not:
- Provide each laboratory employee who displayed signs and symptoms of exposure to hazardous chemicals the opportunity for an appropriate medical examination
- Inform each laboratory employee of the signs and symptoms of exposures to acetic acids, alcohols, formaldehyde, xylene and other chemicals used in the laboratory
- Train laboratory employees on how to detect the presence or release of hazardous chemicals
- Conduct a hazardous assessment to determine what type of personal protective equipment laboratory employees would need and use
- Inform employees of the location and availability of the laboratory’s chemical hygiene plan and provide them training about the plan
- Implement each section of the chemical hygiene plan for laboratory employees exposed to health hazards associated to xylene, acetic acids, alcohols and formaldehyde
- Ensure that the plan contained procedures for the safe separation or removal of incompatible chemical waste and included procedures to ensure proper and adequate performance of protective equipment
- Provide laboratory employees with, or post, the results of chemical exposure monitoring and sampling
OSHA has proposed penalties totaling $152,435.