NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Federal inspectors say a New York City hospital faces $201,000 in fines for exposing employees to the risk of infection from dirty laundry.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital replaced linen laundry bags with thin plastic bags about a year ago.

As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, it was a cost cutting move. A union representative said the bags would break open while traveling down a laundry shoot and spill material covered in fecal matter, HIV, and hepatitis fluids onto the laundry room floor.

The union called OSHA, and OSHA agreed.

OSHA says the bags broke and needlessly exposed workers to laundry contaminated with blood, bodily fluids and other infectious materials.

“OSHA also found the medical center also failed to provide all exposed workers with protective gloves, and outer garments, hand washing facilities,” Chelsea-Lyn Rudder, spokeswoman for Local 1199 said.

Kay Gee, OSHA’s director for Manhattan, said Friday that management knew the bags were deficient but kept using them.

In addition, OSHA says its investigation found that the hospital failed to screen patients for an increased risk of tuberculosis.

The hospital in upper Manhattan faces $201,000 in proposed fines.

Hospital officials say they disagree with OSHA’s citations and are contesting them.

(TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

Leave a Reply