SHREVEPORT, LA (STL.News) The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Christus Shreveport-Bossier Health System in Shreveport, Louisiana, for failing to ensure employees wore proper protective equipment. OSHA has proposed $13,494 in penalties, the maximum allowed by law for a serious citation.

OSHA opened a coronavirus–related investigation after receiving reports of employee exposure.  The agency found that emergency facility employees often shared used protective gowns or did not have protective gowns to wear while treating patients.

“Employers, especially those within the healthcare industry, must comply with existing standards to help ensure workers’ safety amidst the coronavirus pandemic,” said OSHA Baton Rouge Area Director Roderic M. Chube.  “Healthcare workers must be provided proper personal protective equipment to limit the spread of the virus.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citation and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers with questions on compliance with OSHA standards should contact their local OSHA office for guidance and assistance at 800-321-OSHA (6742). OSHA’s COVID-19 response webpage offers extensive resources for addressing safety and health hazards during the evolving coronavirus pandemic.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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