Cooper Univ. Hospital fined $55,000 over safety violations

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a southern New Jersey hospital $55,000. (WPVI)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a southern New Jersey hospital $55,000 for allowing employees to be exposed to needle-stick injuries and bloodborne pathogen hazards.

OSHA also said Thursday that Cooper University Hospital failed to properly train and monitor carpenter shop employees who handled a cancer-causing chemical.

The federal agency says it began reviewing Cooper's practices last fall after a compliance officer investigating an unrelated complaint found an unusual amount of needle-stick and bloodborne pathogens exposure.

Cooper says in a statement that it's taking the report seriously and will address the issues.

"Cooper University Health Care is committed to the health and safety of our patients and employees. Cooper is driving a culture of safety with numerous, long-standing initiatives and ongoing education and training with the input of employees, physicians and leadership," hospital officials said in a statement.

The hospital has until May 3 to fix the problems cited by OSHA.

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