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Workplace Safety Violations Found by OSHA at Upstate Lab

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSGA) has cited Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, for repeat and serious workplace safety violations. The agency inspected the Schenectady, New York, facility after a November 2012 complaint. The inspection was carried out by the Albany area OSHA office.

The inspection revealed that lab technicians did not receive timely required training about safety procedures when drawing blood. Additionally, workers were not instructed in the procedures to follow in the event of being exposed to blood-borne pathogens.

OSHA's bloodborne pathogen standard requires employers to provide workers with regular training. The training must include the steps to take in the aftermath of an exposure. Moreover, the training must occur before workers begin working with blood.

Because the company had previously been cited by OSHA for failure to provide required training within the past five years, The company received a similar violation at one of its New Jersey facilities in 2011.

"The failure of Laboratory Corp. to provide adequate and timely training needlessly placed workers at risk," said Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's area director in Albany. "The health and wellness of the Laboratory Corp. workers depends on this company promptly and effectively addressing these issues at all its locations."

Among the new workplace safety violations were failure to inform workers about the procedures to follow after exposure; failure to update the exposure control program; and failure to train workers in the potential dangers of traysol, a chemical used when stabilizing and shipping blood samples.

Laboratory Corp. has 15 business days to comply, contest the findings or meet informally with the Albany-area OSHA director.