OSHA has cited The Geo Group Inc. with six safety and health violations within its Meridian, Mississippi correctional facility. The facility houses 1,318 inmates in low, medium, and high security environments.
GEO Group was cited for a willful safety violation for knowingly failing to meet minimum staffing requirements, resulting in physical assaults by prison inmates on employees due to staff shortages; requiring corrections officers to perform head counts inside of housing units alone; failing to fully staff housing units according to the employer’s staffing plan; failing to fix malfunctioning cell door locks that could be opened from within by inmates but not from corrections officers from the outside; failure to fix faulty door lock status indicators that indicated doors were secured when they were not; and failing to provide training in basic self-defense and use of chemical agents to all employees exposed to contact to prisoners.
They were also cited for a repeat health violation in failing to conduct medical evaluations to determine the employee’s ability to use a respirator before requiring them to use the respirator in the workplace. (GEO Group’s Pompano Beach, Florida facility received a similar violation in November 2010.)
Other serious violations include failure to provide fit testing for employees required to wear a full face respirator; failure to properly store full face respirators to prevent damage from dust or chemical agents; failure to develop a written exposure control plan for employees exposed to bloodborne pathogens; failure to maintain procedures for evaluating incidents where employees were exposed to blood or other potential infectious materials; failure to ensure personal protective equipment such as gowns were used in the medical department to protect employee clothing from exposure to bloodborne pathogens; failure to conduct a hazard assessment for required personal protective equipment;
One other-than-serious safety violation, with no penalty assessed, was also included for failing to maintain a written energy control procedure for workers exposed to electrical shock hazards.
The citations and notifications for penalty are available on OSHA’s website:
At Anchortex Corporation, we work tirelessly to ensure that correctional officers have the supplies they need to perform their jobs safely, and encourage correctional facilities to take this as a reminder to check over their policies and procedures to ensure they are complying with OSHA standards for the safety of their employees. Please contact our sales department to request quotes on bloodborne pathogen protection supplies, including disposable examination gloves, institutional grade disposable gowns, and bloodborne pathogen resistant boots, full facepiece respirators, arc flash protective apparel and other personal protective equipment supplies for every working environment.