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Recent OSHA Funeral Home Citations and Penalties

Posted: November 15, 2013

In its latest statistical report, OSHA shared information about two funeral home inspections in Virginia. Both were planned inspections that resulted in numerous citations and monetary penalties.

Funeral Home #1

This inspection resulted in eight total violations – six initial serious violations and two other than serious violations. The initial serious violation penalty of $12,600 was reduced, through an informal conference, to $2,100.

The six serious violations were for violations of the Formaldehyde Standard. Two of these violations were for a failure to implement engineering and work practice controls to reduce formaldehyde levels. Two violations were for a failure to provide respirators that met the requirements of the respirator standard. The final two serious violations were for a failure to implement medical surveillance when employees were exposed to formaldehyde at the "OSHA Action Level" or "Short Term Exposure Level," which could include the implementation of a medical questionnaire.

The funeral home was issued an other than serious violation for failing to inspect fire extinguishers monthly; another other than serious violation was issued for failing to properly label containers of hazardous and toxic materials, a violation of the Hazard Communication Standard. These other than serious violations were issued without penalties.

Funeral Home #2

This funeral home inspection resulted in four serious violations and one other than serious violation. The total penalty issued for the serious violations was $945.

Two of the serious violations were related to the Bloodbourne Pathogens Standard: one was for a failure to have a Written Exposure Control Plan and the other dealt with the proper disposal of contaminated sharps.

The other two serious violations were related to the Formaldehyde Standard. These were related to a failure to monitor employee exposure to formaldehyde and the other was related to the provision of respiratory protection for employees who are required to use a respirator.

The other than serious violation was related to the monthly inspection of portable fire extinguishers.

OSHA's statistical report does not provided factual background on the specific nature of the citations and penalties; however, this information does indicate that OSHA is taking enforcement of the Bloodbourne Pathogens and Formaldehyde Standards seriously.

If you have questions about OSHA compliance and are a member of NFDA, you may call the free NFDA OSHA Hotline for advice. Experts answering the NFDA OSHA Hotline can questions about compliance with federal and state OSHA regulations.

OSHA-related legal questions can be addressed to Edward M. Ranier, Esquire, NFDA OSHA and labor legal counsel, at 410-967-1812 or ranierlaw@gmail.com.

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