Memphis VA cited by OSHA after body tissue found in drain

Memphis VA Medical Center is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration upon discovery that human body tissue is not being properly disposed of at the facility.

According to OSHA's complaint, an engineer pipe-fitter was exposed to body tissue in March while unclogging a drain at Memphis VA Medical Center. The sink, in a housekeeping closet of the third-floor surgical unit, was full of brown water. As the pipe-fitter cleared the drain, body tissue floated to the top. He collected the tissue in a bucket and placed it outside of a building on the hospital's campus without a biohazard label, according to OSHA.

The pipe-fitter's exposure to the body tissue was deemed a "serious" violation by OSHA. According to the complaint, the pipe-fitter had not been provided the hepatitis B vaccine and was not trained in blood borne pathogens.

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