A medical-waste disposal company on the west side of Indianapolis has been cited for violating 14 serious safety conditions, including flying debris hazards, potential shock hazards and unstable storage materials that could tip over.
MedAssure of Indiana LLC, which collects, treats and disposes medical waste from hospitals, clinics and other customers, faces a fine of $26,000 for the violations, according to a report from the Indiana Department of Labor.
Inspectors made visits to MedAssure’s facilities, 1013 S. Girls School Road, from Sept. 28 to Nov. 7 and found numerous violations to Indiana’s Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The safety order was issued issued Feb. 15. Stephanie McFarland, a Labor Department spokeswoman, said the inspection was the result of a referral from a local government agency, and that the company had no previous safety incidents on records.
Joseph Delloiacovo, MedAssure’s vice president for regulatory affairs, said Monday that the violations reported were "somewhat exaggerated or excessive." He said after discussions with regulators, the state reduced the fine to $12,125. McFarland said the company paid its fine "and agreed to properly address the safety orders.
Two years ago, MedAssure was fined $9,000 for improperly accepting fetal remains, in violation of its permit. At the time, the company said the fetal tissues were tiny samples taken from aborted fetuses for pathology testing in Missouri.
The new round of violations also included three “non-serious” violations: a needle-stick injury not recorded in a log, a potential overloading and tipping hazard on an industrial vehicle, and failure to record dates of training sessions for handling bloodborne pathogens.
The 14 “serious” violations ran a wide gamut from tripping hazards and overflowing trash cans to deficiencies in electrical boxes and extension cords draped through the ceiling.
The state also found that MedAssure did not give employees sufficient training on the use of respirators. In addition, inspectors found that an access door on an exterior compactor was not closed during loading or transfer of “ground medical waste, which created a flying debris hazard.”
MedAssure is based in Lakewood, New Jersey. On its home webpage, MedAssure tells customers it offers a “safe & economical solution for your medical waste stream,” and complies with safety and health regulations.