- OSHA Healthcare Advisor - http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha -

OSHA to fine PPE violations per employee

Starting today, OSHA is now able to multiply any fines related to personal protective equipment (PPE) violations by the number of your employees, rather than issuing one practice-wide citation.

The agency served notice of this change across its standards in  Clarification of Employers’ Duty to Provide Personal Protective Equipment and Train Each Employee [1] in the December 12 Federal Register.  It says, “Each employee not protected may be considered a separate violation and penalties assessed accordingly.”

OSHA characterizes its action as a “technical correction” that allows the agency to cite “those few employers who egregiously violate the OSHA PPE standard.”

Even with that qualification,  you will want to make sure that your practice is in compliance for providing and training staff for PPE use.

The bloodborne pathogens and respiratory protection standards contain PPE provision and training elements, and commonly apply in healthcare facilities. In additional to the initial training, the  standards have annual training requirements. Two HCPro videos, “Personal Protective Equipment Training Video: Comply with OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard” [2] and “Respirator Safety for Healthcare Workers: Prevent Exposure to Airborne Infections” [3] focus specifically on the PPE training requirements for those standards.

Also on the Tools [4] page of this website is a free downloadable Bloodborne Pathogens Personal Protective Equipment Compliance Checklist. Use it at least once a year to check for PPE compliance gaps, and OSHA will be hard pressed to find you in violation of the PPE component of the bloodborne pathogens standard.

Will OSHA’s new PPE clarification change the way you provide training or is your program in such good shape that it won’t affect you? Click here [5] to take our short PPE compliance poll.