Hotel Medical Waste improper handling fined $12,000
It’s not uncommon to hear about non-compliance in the medical waste industry, but typically these scenarios involve institutions that deal with medical waste directly, like hospitals, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, and veterinary practices. Current events highlight an unlikely case of fines brought on by OSHA; this time, the business in question is a popular Boston hotel with hotel medical waste.
While it seems logical that the hotel industry deals with waste far beyond common trash, the Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill is a special case because the hotel is actually being fined for improper protection of staff that have had to deal with actual medical waste. The reason this particular location has had an influx of medical waste contact is because of it’s very location – right near Massachusetts General Hospital, which operates right next door.
The Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill hotel has acted as a temporary home to many patients from out of town being treated at Mass General.
The issue lies with the hotel itself; OSHA cited the hotel for not providing equipment that would protect staff from bodily fluids found on linens and towels, and from needles that have been discarded in hotel rooms.
Local news sources confirmed the OSHA investigation per hotel management, but management denies any of its staff have been working in unsafe conditions.
The union making the allegations is Local 26.
Via the Boston Globe:
The union said it surveyed 23 housekeepers at the hotel, the vast majority of whom said they had seen vomit or blood and had to clean rooms that appeared to have been occupied by a guest who had been sick.
Workers said they were not given leak-proof biohazard bags or proper latex gloves, according to the report. One said he taped plastic trash bags to his body to protect himself from blood.
Wyndham management has been resisting workers’ attempts to join a union, Brian Lang, president of Local 26, said, but the complaints filed by the housekeepers with OSHA are “independent of the issue of unionization.”
“What the workers want is a safe and healthy workplace,” he said. “I’ve never in 30 years of dealing with the hotel industry come across anything remotely close to this situation.”
The hotel has been fined $12,000 and has until January to rectify the hotel medical waste problem.
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