The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was cited by OSHA for endangering maintenance employees working on steam lines.
OSHA identified one willful violation and two repeated violations by the department's Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and issued three serious notices for exposing employees to burns and other serious injuries. The findings come after a pair of workers died at the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in West Haven, Connecticut, in November 2020 after suffering fatal burns while working on a steam line.
During the inspection, OSHA inspectors determined the Prescott facility lacked energy-isolating procedures — also known as lockout/tagout — that are designed to prevent the release of hazardous energy when steam lines are being maintained or serviced. They found employees followed an ad-hoc process that did not meet OSHA requirements, and that the facility failed to train workers on safety procedures.
The Veterans Affairs' Northern Arizona Healthcare System serves the healthcare needs of more than 33,000 veterans at 12 locations in the region. The department provides benefits, healthcare and cemetery services to military veterans, families and survivors. The VA employs nearly 400,000 people at its medical facilities, clinics and benefits offices.