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December 21, 2015

Cal/OSHA fines Dignity Health for potential health hazards

Cal/OSHA, state workplace safety regulators, has fined Dignity Health, operator of Northridge Hospital Medical Center, for safety and health violations that potentially exposed the hospital’s 1,700 employees to health hazards.

Cal/OSHA, state workplace safety regulators, has fined Dignity Health, operator of Northridge Hospital Medical Center, for safety and health violations that potentially exposed the hospital’s 1,700 employees to health hazards.

Dignity Health was fined $44,125 after the operator failed to record information in about 18 cases where hospital workers were stuck with needles, and failed to provide closeable containers in emergency rooms that would keep biohazard waste from spilling.

Cal/OSHA chief Juliann Sum said: "California’s health and safety requirements are some of the strongest in the nation, and they’re meant to prevent hospital workers from becoming hospital patients."

In June, Cal/OSHA’s Van Nuys office opened an investigation after receiving a complaint, which found 13 health code violations.

"California’s health and safety requirements are some of the strongest in the nation, and they’re meant to prevent hospital workers from becoming hospital patients."

According to Cal/OSHA, the findings included four serious violations of bloodborne pathogens precautions, which require employers to protect workers from coming into contact with blood or other disease-carrying body fluids.

Additionally, Cal/OSHA has issued general and regulatory violations because Dignity Health kept broken gurneys in the working area, skipped essential elements of training employees in safe patient handling, and failed to take corrective action after accidents occurred.

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Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in every workplace in California.

In April, US-based healthcare services firm Kindred Healthcare and Dignity Health have agreed to establish a joint venture (JV) to develop a new inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Arizona.

The JV was responsible for building and operating a new 50-bed Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital East Valley in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix.

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