Poor workplace safety is usually something that only comes up in certain industries. For example, most of the workplace injuries and accidents come from food processing plants or construction sites. However, workers in all fields are exposed to their own sets of hazards that can lead to an injury and a workers’ compensation situation.
Recently, an incident from central Missouri shows that even workers in a doctor’s office can be exposed to dangerous and potentially fatal workplace injuries.
Missouri Podiatry Clinic Cited for Unsafe Working Conditions
The Anderson Foot and Ankle Clinic, in Rolla, Missouri, was recently inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The results of the inspection found numerous safety issues from the Clinic’s workplace policies that put workers there in direct danger of a severe infection.
For example, the OSHA inspectors found that the Clinic:
- Had been disposing bloody medical waste into regular, unmarked trash bins;
- Did not provide Hepatitis B vaccines to anyone who could become exposed to blood borne pathogens;
- Was not properly disposing contaminated needles, scalpels, and other surgical equipment; and
- Was not training employees about the dangers of exposure to blood borne pathogens, or about the numerous potentially dangers chemicals that were regularly used in the Clinic.
There were also numerous other violations, having to do with updates to safety protocols and data sheets.
Violations Put Healthcare Workers at Serious Risk
Any time there is exposed blood in the workplace – a normal occurrence at a doctor’s office or a clinic – there is a chance that someone will come into contact with it. Even the smallest, quickest contact is all that is needed for someone to become infected by germs and become gravely sick with life-threatening diseases from Hepatitis to HIV.
Thankfully, in this case, the dangerous working conditions at the Clinic were discovered, hopefully before anyone became infected.
OSHA Proposes Stiff Fine for Violations
To penalize the Clinic for not taking the proper precautions, putting its workers at risk in order to save money and resources, OSHA proposed fines for each of the 11 different violations that it had found. In total, those penalties amounted to $93,074. The lion’s share of that amount, $43,456 of it, was for the improper disposing of medical waste, which OSHA had determined was a willful violation of its workplace safety regulations.
St. Joseph Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Unsafe working conditions can be found anywhere, in any field, profession, or industry. Even if you are an office worker and sit in a cubicle all day, you could still be at risk of a significant workplace injury. You might not even know it.
If you get hurt at work, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Missouri’s workers’ compensation system is supposed to make this happen, but there are still times when having an attorney is necessary to make the system work.
If you have been hurt in a workplace accident, you need the personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys at the Smith Law Office, in St. Joseph. Contact us online or call us at (816) 875-9373 for the help you need to get the compensation you deserve.