At least one state made good on threats to fine healthcare facilities if they didn’t protect their employees by following H1N1 flu standards.
Washington’s Division of Occupational safety and Health (DOSH) fined Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane $8,000 for failing to follow state and national H1N1 flu safety standards.
The Washington State Nurses Association filed a complaint against Sacred Heart. Nurses at the hospital were reporting difficulty in accessing properly fit-tested N-95 masks when treating patients with H1N1 flu.
Specific violations include:
- inadequate written respiratory protection program
- not all employees who wear N-95 respirators were fit tested or trained on an annual basis, and
- no provisions were made for men with facial hair, which can interfere with the seal of N-95 respirators.