Confined Spaces are Deadly Spaces
OSHA fined a New York recycling facility $79,000 because it failed on so many levels to protect the lives of its employees causing multiple deaths in one fateful day of June 2009.
An employee of S. Dahan Piping and Heating Co. was fatally overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas while cleaning a dry well at Regal Recycling Co. Inc. The owner of the piping company was also the worker's father as well as a recycling company employee who also succumbed while trying to rescue his son from the dry well.
OSHA's inspection found that S. Dahan Piping and Heating should have monitored the air quality in the dry well to determine if there was a lack of oxygen or the presence of another breathing hazard before any of its employees entered the dry well to perform their duties.
When hazards are found, protective measures need to be in place prior to employee entry. A confined space has limited or restricted access of entry or exit, is large enough for a worker to enter and work in, but is not designed for continuous occupancy.
The recycling company failed to post signs warning its employees of hazards that may be present in a confined space, in this case, the dry well. Many deaths in confined spaces occur because people who attempt to rescue someone else are not equipped to do so.
Regal Recycling Co. was issued one serious citation for the absence of warning signs and for failure to abate notices for not correcting unrelated respiratory protection and guardrail hazards cited after a January 2009 OSHA inspection. Regal Recycling faces a total of $79,000 in fines.
OSHA issued four serious citations to S. Dahan Piping and Heating for the confined-space hazards and for not having a respiratory-protection program. This family lost two of its own members -- a father and son. How can you put a price tag on that?
Whistleblower exposes Johnson & Johnson's alleged connection to nursing home abuse
Just when you think it can't get any worse - it does.
Kudos to the whistleblower for exposing these alleged heinous crimes against nursing abuse and Medicaid billing abuse.
Here's part of the complaint:
This is an action against defendant pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and two of its subsidiaries to recover treble damages, restitution, and civil penalties under the False Claims Act, and the common law for causing Omnicare, Inc., the nation's largest long-term care pharmacy, to submit false claims to Medicaid as a result of numerous kickbacks that Johnson & Johnson paid to Omnicare in violation of the federal anti-kickback statute during the period from 1999 through 2004.
At the time, Omnicare was one of Johnson & Johnson's largest customers, especially for Risperdal, a Johnson & Johnson antipsychotic drug that, at Johnson & Johnson's behest, Omnicare pharmacists recommended for nursing home patients who exhibited behavioral symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Over the years 1999 through 2004, Johnson & Johnson paid Omnicare tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks to induce Omnicare to purchase and to recommend Risperdal and other Johnson & Johnson drugs. These kickbacks took various forms, including market share rebate payments conditioned on Omnicare engaging in active intervention programs for Johnson & Johnson drugs, payments that were ostensibly for the purchase of Omnicare data, and various grants and other payments, all of which Johnson & Johnson intended to induce Omnicare to purchase and to recommend Johnson & Johnson drugs.
The kickbacks achieved Johnson & Johnson's intended purpose.
During the 1999 through 2004 period, Omnicare engaged in intensive efforts to convince physicians to prescribe Johnson & Johnson drugs, and Omnicare's annual purchases of Johnson & Johnson drugs increased from approximately $100 million to over $280 million, with annual purchases of Risperdal alone rising to over $100 million. For a substantial portion of these purchases, Omnicare then submitted reimbursement claims to Medicaid.