Texas Company Fined $149K for Health and Safety Violations

August 22, 2008

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $149,100 in fines to Texas Linen Co. Ltd. in Austin, Texas, for one willful, 43 alleged serious and one other-than-serious safety violations.

Following an inspection that began on Feb. 21 at the company’s worksite on Smith Road in Austin, OSHA issued a willful violation for not providing the Hepatitis B vaccination to employees within 10 days of being assigned to handle soiled health care linens. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The 43 serious citations included failing to: correct electrical hazards; provide machine guarding for power transmission devices; protect employees from exposure to blood-borne pathogens while handling contaminated health care linens; and provide sanitary working conditions.

A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result when the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

Texas Linen Co. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Austin or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA, www.osha.gov

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