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Worker safety problems found at VA center in White City

Federal inspectors have found 17 violations of worker safety codes at Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics in White City.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday that 10 of the violations at the Veterans Affairs facility are serious.

A.J. Reid, acting director of OSHA's Portland office, says the facility's plan for protecting workers from contact with infected blood didn't cover trainees working with housekeeping staff.

Another issue was that staff members giving chemotherapy treatments were not given protective clothing and goggles.

Violations include a lack of adequate controls for infectious diseases; an inadequate plan for what to do when a worker is exposed to a blood-borne pathogen; a lack of access to a rapid-HIV test should a worker be exposed; improperly stored sharps and poorly maintained facilities.

OSHA says that if the facility had been a private institution, it would have faced fines of $153,000.

The VA center issued a statement saying it places a high priority on resolving OSHA's concerns. And it said all issues raised by the inspection have been resolved.

— Wire reports