The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA) has cited St. Charles Health System for what it calls a “serious” violation after it says containers for throwing out contaminated sharps were allowed to be overfilled.
“During the course of the inspection is was observed, and confirmed through employees interviews, that the sharps containers were not replaced routinely and were allowed to be overfilled. An overfilled floor sharps container was observed in Trauma Room 1,” the citation reads.
The fine for this “serious” violation is $750.
OSHA also listed a number of other findings related to this issue. While these were also listed as “serious,” no other fines were imposed.
- “At the time of the inspection, the annual evaluation of sharp medical devices, did not involve non-managerial front-line employees. The last evaluation completed for the emergency department solely an Assistant Nurse Manager.”
- “At the time of the inspection, the employer did not ensure that the type and brand of devices were recorded on the sharp injury log. For 2022, approximately 74 percent of recorded sharp injuries did not include both the sharp type and brand in the sharps injury log.”
- “At the time of the inspection, the employer did not ensure that all employees using and handling sharps containers were trained prior to use or handling for disposal purposes.”
There was also a $100 fine issued for a separate violation over a privacy concern. OSHA said St. Charles did not enter “privacy case” in a space normally used for the employee’s name on an OSHA 300 log.
According to OSHA, the 300 form is for employers to record all reportable injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace.
“The employer’s OSHA 300 logs for 2019 and 2022 had recorded employees names related to mental illness or associated with latent TB infection,” OSHA wrote.
St. Charles provided this statement to Central Oregon Daily News:
“We take all feedback and complaints about workplace safety very seriously. We are reviewing our practices around emptying sharps containers in the Emergency Department and throughout the hospital. The safety of our caregivers and patients continues to be a top priority.” – David Golda, Vice President Hospital Administrator St. Charles Bend and Redmond