OSHA Compliance for the Funeral Home

OSHA Compliance for the
Funeral Home
Kathleen K. Ryan, Esquire
29 U.S.C. Sec. 654 (b)
• Each Employer shall:
• Assure their workplace is safe and free from
hazards that are likely to cause death or
serious injury;
• Provide training;
• Follow standards and keep current;
• Keep records
Inspection Priorities
Imminent danger
Catastrophes and fatal accidents
Employee complaints
Planned or targeted inspections
Follow-up inspections
Pennsylvania Law
49 Pa. Code Sec. 13.181
• “A funeral director is
responsible for the
knowledge of and
compliance with State and
local health laws and
regulations in addition to
the act, this chapter and
current Occupational
Safety and Hazardous
Administration regulations.
29 C.F.R. Sec. 1977
Employers cannot discharge or in any manner
discriminate against any employee for:
• Filing a complaint or instituting any proceeding
related to OSHA
• Testify or who will testify in any proceeding
• Has exercised any right afford to he/she or others
under OSHA
Accident/Illness Recordkeeping
29 C.F.R. Sec. 1904
Funeral Homes are classified as a
“low hazard industry” and are
generally exempt from this
requirement EXCEPT funeral home
employers must:
• Report fatalities or inpatient
hospitalizations of three or more
employees (within 8 hours of
incident) as a result of a workrelated accident/illness
• Report fatalities caused by a
heart attack
• Maintain a log of occupation
injuries and illnesses when
notified by OSHA or Bureau of
Labor Statistics (Form on
Access to Employee Exposure and Medical
29 C.F.R. Sec. 1910.1020
• Employers must provide access to employees, their
designated representatives and OSHA for relevant
exposure and medical records, regardless of whether
these records are maintained by a specific standard.
Employee Exposure Record
A record that contains any of the
• Workplace monitoring or
measuring of a toxic substance or
harmful physical agent to which
an employee has been exposed;
• Biological monitoring results
which directly assess the
absorption of a toxic substance or
harmful physical agent by body
• MSDS sheets
• Chemical inventories
• Records must be kept for at least
30 years
Employee Medical Record
Any record concerning the health status
of an employee which is made or
maintained by a physician, nurse or other
health care person including:
• Medical and employment
• Results of medical exams
• Medical opinions, diagnoses,
progress notes and
• First aid records
• Descriptions of treatment and
• Employee medical complaints
• These records must be kept for a
duration of employment plus 30
OSHA Requests
If OSHA requests personal medical information,
the employer MUST post a copy of the written
access order and accompanying cover letter for
at least 15 working days.
Employee Training
Employee training is required upon:
• First entering into employment
• Annually thereafter
Training consists of:
• Existence, location and availability of records
• Person in charge of records
• Employee’s right of access to records
Hazardous Communication Standard
29 C.F.R. Section 1910.1200
Purpose is to ensure hazards
of all chemicals are
evaluated and that
information about the
hazard is transmitted to
employees through a
Written Hazard
Communication Program
• Develop
• Implement
• Maintain
MSDS Sheets
MSDS Sheets must be kept on all
hazardous chemicals to which
employees are or could be
• Must have a current sheet
from manufacturer
• Should be in two locations
(prep room) and some other
easily accessible place in FH
• Procedure on replacement and
removal of old ones
• Can be electronic
• Must provide training
Training for MSDS
Must Include:
• An overview of the HCS requirements (on initial hire
and every time a new chemical is introduced)
• Hazardous chemicals in workplace
• Physical/health risks of chemicals
• How to determine release of chemicals through use of
control procedures, work practices and PPE
• Steps employer has taken to reduce exposure
• Procedures to follow if exposed
• How to read MSDS and obtain information
• Location of Written Hazard Comm. Program and MSDS
Revised Hazard Communication
• 12/31/13, funeral establishments must train
on new MSDS sheets (now called Safety Data
Sheets or SDS)
• 6/1/15, manufacturers must comply with new
standard but distributors can use up old
• 6/1/16, funeral establishments must update
workplace labeling and hazard communication
program to comply with revised standard
Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
29 C.F.R. Sec. 1910.1030
Purpose: To minimize
exposure to bloodborne
pathogens or other
potentially infectious
Bloodborne Pathogen pathogenic microorganisms
that are transmitted via
human blood and cause
disease. Ex: HIV, HBV .
Exposure Control Plan
Must include:
• Exposure determination
• Schedule and implementation of
• Hepititus B vaccination status
• Post exposure follow up
• Recordkeeping
• Annual documentation of
innovations to prevent/reduce
risk of injury
• Solicit non-managerial employees
• Date you sought information
• Decision reached and reason
Storage of Hazardous Waste
28 Pa. Code, Sec. 284
• Infectious waste may be
stored at room temperature
until the container is full but
no longer than 30 days from
the date the waste is placed
in the container.
• A storage container that has
been filled within 30 days
from the date the first
waste was placed may be
frozen immediately for up
to 90 days from the date
the waste was first put in
the container.
Engineering Controls
• Eliminates hazards at
their source
• Examples: Special
containers for
OSHA’s Position on
Safer Needle Devices:
• Bloodborne Pathogens Standard requires
use of engineering and work practice
• Failure to use engineering/work practice
controls could result in a citation
• Devices which offer alternatives to needles
are preferable
Source: Chiarello, 1995
Retractable Blade Scalpel
Blunt Nose Needle
Sharps Containers
• Sharps must be disposed in
special containers
• Must be labeled with
universal biohazard symbol
and the word biohazard
• Containers must be readily
accessible to employees, be
puncture resistant, have
leak-proof sides and
bottoms, be upright
throughout use, be replaced
routinely and be filled only
to capacity (not
Other Hazards Require Signage
Labels are required on:
• Regulated waste
• Laundry bags
• Refrigerators/Freezers
with waste
• Bags/Containers used to
store, dispose or
transport infectious
• Contaminated equipment
that is to be serviced or
Work Practice Controls
Practices to minimize hazards
from blood/infectious
• Wash hands, minimize
spraying/splashing of blood.
• Prevent needle sticks
• Use PPE
• Don’t allow eating/drinking,
applying of cosmetics,
contacts in prep room
• Remove contaminated
clothing before leaving work
800,000 Needlestick Injuries Occur Each
Year in the United States
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
16,000 of These Are Likely to Be
Contaminated by HIV
Source: American Hospital Association, 1992
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Up to 80% of All Accident Exposures
to Blood Are Caused by Needlestick
Source: Jagger, J., 1988
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Source: Chiarello, 1992
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
HBV and HCV Pose an even
Greater Risk than HIV
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1991
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Occupational Risk of
Hepatitis B
• Much more transmissible than HIV
• Risk after needlestick: 2% - 40%
• 1994 - 1000 health care workers developed
HBV infection
• Approximately 200 HCWs die each year
Source: CDC, 1991; 1997
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Occupational Risk of Hepatitis C
HCV - major cause of chronic liver disease
No vaccine
No effective post-exposure prophylaxis
85% of HCV infected people develop
chronic infection
Source: CDC, 1997; NIH, 1997
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Occupational Risk of HIV
• Risk after needlestick - 1 in 300
• Exposures from needlesticks or cuts cause
most infections
Source: CDC, 1991; 1996
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
HCWs with Occupationally Acquired
HIV/AIDS Infection
Source: CDC, 1997
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Needlestick Injuries Are Costly
Time and money to investigate the source
Post-exposure care
Lost work time and productivity
Treatment of resulting illnesses
Workers’ lives
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Hollow-bore needles are the cause of
injury in 68.5% of cases
Source: Ippolito, et al, 1997
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
When Do Needlesticks Happen?
PPE Standard
• Employer must offer PPE
free to employees
• Must have a job hazard
assessment to determine
what type of PPE needed
• Must have written
certification that
employees have been
trained in use of PPE
• Prep room – gloves,
aprons, booties, face
shields, shoe covers, eye
Housekeeping Techniques
• Adhere to a regular cleaning
schedule that provides for
• Clean and decontaminate
equipment and work areas
after each contact with
potentially infectious
• Apply at least 10% solution of
bleach on contaminated site
and allow to stand for 15
• Remove and replace
protective coverings
Formaldehyde Standard
29 C.F.R. 1910.1048
Purpose: To ensure that no
employee is exposed to an
airborne concentration of
formaldehyde that:
• Exceeds 0.75 parts
formaldehyde per million
part of air as an 8 hour
time-weighted average
(TWA) or
• Exceeds two parts
formaldehyde per million
parts of air (2 ppm) as a 15
minute short term
exposure limit (STEL)
Fan Location
• Ceiling fans draw fumes
directly into the
breathing space of the
• Wall fans are better
because they draw the
fumes horizontally away
from the upper torso of
the embalmer
When to do test?
• Initially
• Each time there is a change in production,
equipment, process, personnel or control
measures OR
• If employer receives report of signs/symptoms
of respiratory or dermal conditions associated
with exposure to formaldehyde
Employers must notify affected employees
within 15 days of receiving results of monitoring
Post the results in writing
For every area where the
concentration of
formaldehyde is present
Employers must have:
• Quick drench showers AND
• An eyewash station in immediate work area
• A Change room to change to and from
contaminated clothing
• PPE provided free of charge
Respiratory Protection Standard
29 C.F.R. Section 1910.134
Respirators must be used in an emergency.
Emergency - “any occurrence, such as but
not limited to, equipment failure, rupture of
containers or failure of controlled equipment
that results in a release of a significant amount
of formaldehyde.
Employer Musts for Respirator Use
A procedure for selecting respirator
Medical evaluations for those
required to use respirator
Annual fit testing for tight-fitting
Procedures for proper use in routine
and emergency situations
Procedures for cleaning/disinfecting,
storing, inspecting, repairing,
Training in respiratory hazards
Training in proper use, putting on,
Program evaluation procedures
Individual selected to give program
Medical evaluations – free of charge
if resp. required
General Duty Clause
• General safety: train staff on use of
equipment, lifting, ladders
• Electrical safety training: temporary and
permanent wiring, power cords and outlets
• Exit and egress, evacuation plan
• First aid, fire extinguishers
• Signage
• Workplace violence
Final Thoughts
• Forms for many of these programs
• Must assign an individual at the FH to be
• Document IT
• Expect more visits
• State Inspectors can cite you for violations
• Disgruntled employees
Samuel J. Gualardo, MA, CSP,
Program Director
PA/OSHA Consultation Program
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Walsh Hall, Room 210
302 East Walk
Indiana, PA 15705-1066
Phone: 1-800-382-1241
Fax: 724-357-2385
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: www.osha.gov

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