US Department of Labor's OSHA cites national janitorial services company with multiple safety violations for exposing Montana workers to hazards
BILLINGS, Mont. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Healthcare Services Group Inc. with five safety violations – including three serious and two repeat – for exposing workers to multiple hazards at the Missoula Health and Rehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing home in Missoula. Proposed penalties total $58,300.
Pennsylvania-based Healthcare Services Group employs about 37,000 workers nationwide and provides janitorial services to the healthcare industry. The Missoula Health and Rehabilitation Center is affiliated with Vancouver, Wash.-based EmpRes Healthcare LLC, which operates licensed nursing homes and assisted living communities in six states.
The serious violations at the Missoula site include failing to train new workers on how to prevent exposure to hepatitis B, guard the belts and pulleys of a commercial dryer, and cover the opening of an electrical junction box. The citations carry $14,300 in fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The repeat violations are failing to make vaccinations for hepatitis B available and provide training to employees on hazardous chemicals. The citations carry $44,000 in fines. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited at the company's Pueblo, Colo., facility in 2007 and its Laurel, Mont., facility in January.
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