Q: If an employee refuses to use available safety devices, such as safety needles and sharps, who would pay the fine if an OSHA inspector cites such a situation? The employee or the employer?
A: The employer is responsible and bears the burden of any citations or fines. OSHA only has the power to fine the employer, not the employee.
OSHA would expect the employer to modify the safety education program and training to achieve compliance among staff. Documented progressive disciplinary actions could mitigate the issuance of a citation or the severity of a fine.
Last year the average initial OSHA fine to medical practices for not providing or ensuring the use of safety devices was $1,306, according to Medical Environment Update .
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