OSHA has cited Christus Shreveport-Bossier Health System in Shreveport, Louisiana, for failing to ensure employees wore proper protective equipment.
OSHA has proposed $13,494 in penalties, the maximum allowed by law for a serious citation.
OSHA opened a coronavirus–related investigation after receiving reports of employee exposure. The agency found that emergency facility employees often shared used protective gowns or did not have protective gowns to wear while treating patients.
OSHA Baton Rouge Area Director, Roderic M. Chube, said: “Employers, especially those within the healthcare industry, must comply with existing standards to help ensure workers’ safety amidst the coronavirus pandemic.”
Healthcare workers must use proper PPE when exposed to a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or other sources of SARS-CoV-2 (See OSHA’s PPE standards at 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I).
OSHA recommends that healthcare workers with exposure to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients wear:
- Eye/face protection (e.g., goggles, face shield); and
- NIOSH-certified, disposable N95 filter facepiece respirators or better.
In addition to the PPE considerations for all workers and employers of workers at increased risk of occupational exposure, CDC has developed strategies for optimizing the supply of PPE, including specifically for: