OSHA puts McDowell prison on notice - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

OSHA puts McDowell prison on notice


WELCH (WVVA) –A McDowell County federal prison is put on notice by OSHA for ten serious violations.

According to a news release issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, a January 2014 investigation revealed that corrections officers and prison staff at McDowell medium security federal prison in Welch were possibly exposed to blood borne pathogens and other safety hazards.

The serious violations were identified. OSHA says the agency failed to do the following:

· Train employees on the blood borne pathogens policy and limitations of personal protective equipment.

· Ensure the person conducting training was knowledgeable about the subject.

· Use puncture-resistant containers to transport contaminated shanks and other sharps.

· Provide health care professionals, who evaluate an employee following an exposure, a copy of the blood borne pathogens regulation, the exposed employee's duties, documentation of the route of exposure or its circumstances, and medical records relevant to treatment of the employee.

· Select and require puncture-resistant gloves while conducting pat-down operations.

“Federal prison employees are often exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials. It is imperative that employers take every reasonable precaution to protect these workers against these types of safety and health hazards,” said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office.

OSHA officials say a serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard which the employer knew about.

The investigation in January was the first inspection of the prison by OSHA. Administrators at the prison have 15 business days from the receipt of the notices to comply or request an informal conference with OSHA's area director.


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