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OSHA Cites Another Funeral Home for Violations

OSHA Cites Another Funeral Home for Violations

Posted: September 22, 2011

OSHA recently conducted an inspection of funeral home in Tennessee that resulted in three multi-part "serious violations" with a total penalty of $4,700, and one "other than serious violation" with no penalty. The inspection was classified as "planned" by OSHA.

The "serious violations" included:

  • Alleged violations of several requirements of the Blood Borne Pathogen Standard:
    • Failing to review and update the exposure control plan annually, or whenever new or modified tasks or procedures are implemented.
    • Failing to solicit input from non-managerial employees who are potentially exposed to injuries from contaminated sharps in the identification, evaluation and selection of effective engineering and work practice controls. This solicitation must be documented in the exposure control plan.
    • Failing to appropriately disinfect work surfaces that were contaminated with blood or other infectious material. The surfaces must be decontaminated immediately or as soon as it is feasible to do so.
    • Failure to conduct annual training under the hazard communication portion of the standard.
  • An alleged violation of the Formaldehyde Standard: the employer did not monitor employees to determine their exposure to formaldehyde.
  • Alleged violations of the Hazard Communication Standard:
    • A failure to label, tag or mark each container of hazardous chemicals. The label must identify the chemical in the container.
    • Employees were not given appropriate hazard warnings with general information about the chemicals used in the workplace.

The "other than serious violation" concerned the Respiratory Protection Standard; the employer allegedly failed to provide safety and health information to employees voluntarily using respirators when not required. This information can be found in Appendix D of the Respiratory Protection Standard.

It is clear that OSHA has funeral homes on its radar and inspectors are finding serious violations of the standards with which funeral home must comply. NFDA strongly urges you to review the OSHA standards that apply to funeral homes. For more information on these standards and compliance requirements, visit the NFDA website or call the NFDA OSHA Hotline at 800-633-2674. The hotline can assist with nearly all inquiries. NFDA members can also call NFDA OSHA Counsel Edward M. Ranier with OSHA-related legal questions at 410-967-1812.

The OSHA website also has a number of resources to help small businesses comply with its various regulations. These resources include free on-site compliance assistance. According to the OSHA website, "On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management systems."