Workplace health & safety

An analysis of OSHA inspections assessing contaminant exposures in general medical and surgical hospitals.

PMID 23521143


This study analyzed data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Chemical Exposure Health Database to assess contaminant exposures in general medical and surgical hospitals. Seventy-five inspections conducted in these hospitals from 2005 through 2009 were identified. Five categories of inspections were conducted, the three most common being complaint-based, planned, and referral-based inspections. Complaint-based inspections comprised the majority of inspections-55 (73%) of the 75 conducted. The overall violation rate for all inspection types was 68%. This finding was compared to the violation rates of planned inspections (100%), referral-based inspections (83%), and complaint-based inspections (62%). Asbestos was the hazardous substance most commonly sampled and cited by OSHA in hospitals, with 127 samples collected during 24 inspections; 31% of the total 75 inspections resulting in one or more violations were due to asbestos.