Workers are exposed to a wide variety of risks in the workplace. We often discuss construction accidents, due to the significant number of fatalities and severe injuries that constructions workers suffer every year. But workers in other industries also are subject to dangers, ranging from deliver drivers, who are constantly exposed to the risk of injury on the streets and highways of New Jersey, to healthcare workers who often suffer back injuries caused by lifting patients.
Healthcare workers are faced with other risks, from the more exotic risk of infection or illness contracted while caring for a patient, to the mundane, like exposure to an overheated laundry facility. While workplace injuries caused by a too hot laundry may seem mundane, the danger is real. Excessive levels of heat can cause workers to suffer heat stroke and other heat-related injuries.
While typically associated with outdoor work like laying asphalt or roofing during the hot summer months, the risks posed to a worker within a hot laundry are no less hazardous. A nursing home in Carneys Point, New Jersey was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last week for just such an unsafe workplace condition.
As the population ages, more and more workers will be necessary in this industry and OSHA has stepped up its inspection and enforcement activities in healthcare businesses.
This care center was fined $6,300 for the excessive heat in the laundry and an additional $42,300 for other serious violations.
Those violations included such items as eye protection for workers, access for a sharps container and proper blood borne pathogen training.
Failing to provide adequate training on issues like blood borne pathogens could place health of both residents and workers at risk.
Source: Environemental-expert.com, “Carneys Point, NJ, nursing home cited by US Labor Department’s OSHA for exposing workers to excessive heat, health workplace hazards,” November 26, 2013