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The Ohio Nurses Association has filed a complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Columbus, Ohio, office over alleged hazardous conditions at a state medical center.
The complaint, dated Wednesday, claims that Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus has failed to provide frontline health care workers with N95 masks, eye protection, disinfectant wipes and other appropriate personal protective equipment. The letter alleges that in one unit, nurses and other workers were exposed to patients with coronavirus on April 5, and 10 of those workers later contracted the virus, and that a labor and delivery unit had at least 27 staff members exposed to the virus, with at least a dozen becoming infected.
The complaint also alleges that management failed to train workers on how to perform seal checks on their protective masks and physically removed all N95 masks from its cancer outpatient clinics and removed disinfectant wipes from patients’ rooms.
Federal OSHA has received thousands of complaints in the past two months alleging COVID-19 safety violations in the workplace.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
A nationwide shortage of N95 masks and newly relaxed standards for personal protective equipment have workers on the front lines treating coronavirus patients and medical associations both praising efforts to ramp up production and protesting federal guidance over fears that it places them at greater risk of contracting the virus.