OSHA Says Healthcare Facility Fails To Protect Workers
An inspection at a Byron, Ill., rehabilitation and post-acute care facility found the healthcare facility did not comply with federal respiratory protection requirements in the facility’s quarantine area and failed to protect workers from coronavirus hazards.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that Generations at Neighbors LLC failed to implement critical elements of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program for Coronavirus and the Emergency Temporary Standard for Health Care. The Aug. 10 inspection cited four serious health violations and led OSHA to propose $38,620 in penalties.
OSHA concluded that Generations at Neighbors – operator of six similar facilities in Illinois and Indiana – did not ensure its coronavirus prevention plan included policies and procedures to minimize the risk of transmission for each employee. The agency found the healthcare facility failed to ensure proper use of respiratory protection, conduct thorough hazard assessments, maintain social distancing and physical barriers, and determine employees’ vaccination status.
“Improper use of respirators in a healthcare facility where an outbreak of coronavirus could lead to a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and potential death could have serious consequences for the health of employees,” says Jacob Scott, OSHA area director. “After more than a year of fighting this pandemic, employers need to ensure every precaution is taken to minimize workers’ risk of exposure.”
Owned by Lincolnwood-based Generations Healthcare Network, Generations at Neighbors operates rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities in Des Plaines, Elmwood Park, Matteson, Niles and Rock Island, Illinois, and in Auburn, Indiana.