OSHA hits four Veterans Administration clinics with safety notices
OSHA issued 30 notices of unsafe and unhealthful working conditions to four U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities in California. The facilities involved are the VA hospital in Mather and at outpatient clinics in Martinez, Fairfield and Oakland, and all are part of the VA’s Northern California Health Care System, according to a May 24 agency news release.
“The safety hazards identified at these four clinics demonstrate a need for a renewed commitment by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a safe workplace for the VA employees who care for our nation’s wounded and aging soldiers,” said David Shiraishi, director of OSHA’s Oakland Area Office in agency’s announcement.
Of the 30 notices 25 were deemed serious and included inaccessible emergency routes or locked exit door, electrical hazards, machine guarding hazards, and contaminated needles.
A report by the Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 24 explained that OSHA issued unsafe and unhealthful working condition notices in lieu of citations and fines “because OSHA does not have the power to impose financial penalties against another federal agency.”
Nevertheless the four clinics have 15 business days to correct the problems, request a conference with OSHA supervisors or appeal.