County takes step to resolve IOSHA violations

May 1—ANDERSON — The Madison County Commissioners have taken steps to resolve the safety issues raised by the Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration pertaining to the coroner's office.

Last week IOSHA found five violations by coroner Dr. Troy Abbott surrounding the temporary morgue at the Emergency Management Agency facility.

The inspections took place starting last October and the last one was conducted on April 11.

Abbott did not respond to requests from The Herald Bulletin for comment on Monday.

The five violations included the lack of a handwashing sink; failure by the coroner to ensure employees used appropriate personal protective equipment including gloves, gowns and protective eyewear; failure to clean working surfaces; not disposing of items in sharps containers; and not placing contaminated laundry in plastic bags or containers.

"To satisfy the IOSHA safety order and prevent any fines from being applied to the County or Coroner's office, the County Commissioners office has, in a good faith effort been required to take action," a letter to Abbott states.

"This action has been necessary because the coroner's office has failed to attend or respond to conference calls, and has not returned emails or phone calls from IOSHA," the letter continues. "Madison County representatives have attended every conference call, exchanged emails and have provided documents requested by IOSHA."

The county has ordered a hand washing station which is expected to be installed by May 8. IOSHA found the current sink was not adequate.

The commissioners have ordered an inventory of gloves, gowns, booties and other personal protection equipment and face shields.

"You will need to maintain an adequate supply from now on," the commissioners said.

Cleaning supplies have been ordered to clean contaminated work stations and a sharp container has been installed and a hazardous material container for contaminated laundry.

The letter said the total cost for the items was $1,506 and a monthly charge estimated at $150 will be required to be reimbursed from the coroner's budget.

"We recommend you prepare a new money appropriation request form for the County Council to review and approval for this cost," the letter continued.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.