Safety officer tip: Small practices not immune to OSHA citations

By: November 21st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Do you hear the excuse from management that your practice is too small to worry about OSHA compliance? Or do you believe that practice size gives you immunity from citations? If you do, you’re wrong—look at the numbers.

Three quarters of all medical practice OSHA citations were for facilities with fewer than 20 employees, according to OSHA statistics from October 2010 through September 2011. Small practices of one to nine workers drew 46% of the citations, and slightly larger facilities of 10–19 employees had 29% of citations. (See the pie chart below.)

An even more compelling case against the “too small to worry about” argument is the dollar amount of those violations.

Facilities employing 1–19 workers accounted for 87% of the total fines issued to physician practices.

The trend of small-facility citations was even more pronounced in dental practices for the same time period. Practices with fewer than 20 employees accounted for 83% of OSHA dental citations.

Percentage of OSHA citations by size of medical practice

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Interesting stats. Hopefully this will wake up a few of those non-compliant offices.

By Bruce Cunha on November 22nd, 2011 at 9:23 am

One issue with the small facilities is the regulations themself. I have spent my training, education and life in implementing OSHA regulations. I still have problems understanding and implementing some.

Small facilities are most likely not going to hire a safety expert to assist them in their safety. Most still do not understand what they need to be doing.

OSHA and the States have made efforts to assist the small business. Companies like HCpro are out there to assist with tools to get programs in place, but it is still tough to get these small businesses to understand what is needed.

My opinion is that most facilities do not have all that many injuries and do not really consider what they are doing as unsafe.


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