2 NJ Hospitals Face Penalties in COVID-19 Charges

Bergen New Bridge Medical Center has been cited by OSHA for violating respiratory protection standards at its Paramus, New Jersey, location, with proposed penalties of $9,639.

The Medical Center failed to:

  • Fit test tight-fitting facepiece respirators on employees who were required to use them; and
  • Train employees on proper respirator use and ensure employees understood when to wear a respirator.

According to OSHA, healthcare workers are required to be fit-tested to ensure the respirators they use provide adequate protection.

In the second case, OSHA has issued two serious citations against Hackensack Meridian Health Residential Care Inc. and one other-than-serious violation for failing to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus at its North Bergen, New Jersey, facility.

In the first case, the medical facility was cited for failure to provide respirators to resident care employees for a period of time in March, 2020. Employees were caring for residents who were exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus.

OSHA also cited the employer for failure to conduct respirator fit testing, effective training, and compliant medical evaluations, during the period after the employer began providing respirators to the employees and requiring their use.

OSHA cited one other-than-serious violation for the facility’s failure to establish a fit-test record for qualitative fit tests.

Proposed penalties were $28,070 for the violations.

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