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OSHA Inspects North Carolina and Issues Violations

Posted: December 28, 2011

A North Carolina funeral home was cited for seven "other than serious" violations following an inspection by North Carolina OSHA. The inspection was a "complaint inspection," which is usually conducted when a complaint is filed by a current or former employee.

OSHA did not issue any penalties because the violations were classified as "other than serious;" however, the funeral home must make the required corrections, at its expense, and could be subject to a citation and penalty if the corrections are not made. A "willful" violation could also be issued if the employer is found to be in violation of the same OSHA standard in a future inspection. "Willful" violations carry significant penalties.

The violations included:

  • Personal Protective Equipment: The employer failed to comply with the section requiring a written hazard assessment of the work site. The document must be clearly labeled as a hazard assessment and identify the work site evaluated, the person certifying that the evaluation has been performed and the date of the assessment. Based on this hazard assessment, an employer is required to select and provide appropriate personal protective equipment to employees.
  • Bloodborne Pathogen Standard: The employer failed to comply with the need to have a written exposure control plan to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
  • Formaldehyde Standard: The employer failed to properly monitor employees to determine the level of their exposure to formaldehyde.
  • Hazard Communication Standard:
    • The employer failed to comply with the section dealing with the development, implementation and maintenance of a written Hazard Communication Program.
    • The employer failed to ensure that each container of a hazardous chemical was properly labeled with the chemical it contained.
    • The employer failed to provide employees with hazard warnings containing specific information regarding the physical and health hazards of the chemicals to which they are exposed.
    • The employer did not have the required material safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical used in the workplace. Material safety data sheets must be readily accessible to employees on each work shift in their work area.

For more information on OSHA 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.