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OSHA cites LI nursing and rehab centers in alleged COVID violations  

OSHA cited Cold Spring Hills Center in Woodbury,

OSHA cited Cold Spring Hills Center in Woodbury, and the center said it is contesting the agency's findings. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Two Long Island nursing and rehabilitation facilities have been cited for alleged COVID-related workforce violations, with fines totaling more than $38,000.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleged that Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Woodbury and Glen Cove Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Glen Cove violated employee safety standards.

Cited facilities have 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, according to a spokesman for OSHA, which sets and enforces workplace safety standards.

Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Woodbury was given a proposed fine of $25,061 for allegedly violating a standard requiring employees to be medically evaluated before wearing tight-fitting face respirators, and allegedly violating a standard requiring that employees be fit-tested before using tight-fitting face respirators.

Cold Spring was also cited for allegedly violating a standard requiring employers to report a work-related death within eight hours.

The nursing and rehab center said it is contesting the agency’s citations.

"We are currently contesting the citation from OSHA and have presented OSHA with evidence demonstrating our compliance with applicable regulations," Cold Spring management said in a written statement Thursday.

"Cold Spring Hills continues to place an emphasis on patient and employee safety in all respects," the statement read.

Forest Manor Inc., the legal name for the Glen Cove Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Glen Cove, was also cited and advised of a potential fine of $13,494. OSHA said it allegedly violated the standard of medically evaluating employees before wearing face respirators, and fit-testing employees before using tight-fitting face respirators.

Officials with Glen Cove did not return a request for comment.

The two facilities were among 26 across the country recently issued citations alleging coronavirus-related violations between Oct. 30 and Nov. 5, with proposed fines totaling $471,337, according a Nov. 13 OSHA announcement.

Since the start of the pandemic, OSHA has proposed more than $2.8 million in penalties stemming from 204 inspections, OSHA said in a news release.

OSHA officials did not provide additional details about the citations.

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