Four Northern Calif. VA Facilities Cited for Health, Safety Issues
On Thursday, federal regulators cited four Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities in Northern California for a total of 25 health and safety violations, the Contra Costa Times reports (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 5/24).
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the violations after inspectors checked the facilities between November 2011 and January.
Inspectors found several "serious" violations, which are considered to potentially cause immediate harm or death.
Details of Violations
Regulators cited a VA hospital in Mather and an outpatient clinic in Martinez for 10 serious violations and one minor violation each.
In addition, they cited an outpatient clinic in Oakland with two serious violations and an outpatient clinic at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield with one serious violation (Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/25).
Among the health and safety violations noted by regulators were:
- Blocked emergency exit doors and routes;
- Electrical hazards;
- Exposure to contaminated needles; and
- Improper storage of biohazardous waste.
The facilities have 15 days to correct each violation, request a conference with OSHA supervisors or appeal the citations.
OSHA does not have the power to impose monetary fines on the facilities.
David Shiraishi -- director of OSHA's Oakland office -- said in a statement, "The safety hazards identified at these four clinics demonstrate a need for renewed commitment by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a safe workplace for the VA employees."
VA representatives could not be reached for comment (Contra Costa Times, 5/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.