California Finds Kaiser Permanente Violated Safety Rules Around Infectious Diseases

19 minutes ago

State regulators have found workplace safety violations at seven health care facilities operated by Kaiser Permanente, including the Kaiser San Jose hospital where a Christmas day outbreak of COVID-19 has grown to 90 people.

Even before the pandemic, California had rules protecting workers against aerosolized transmissible diseases like COVID-19. Citations from the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration allege that Kaiser hospitals and other offices didn’t plan to mitigate the risk of exposure, didn’t train workers, and didn’t provide or require protective respirators where the coronavirus might be present.

Statewide, CalOSHA has proposed that the health system pay fines totalling nearly $367,000 at 10 facilities for violations found during inspections dating back to late August. In the Bay Area, that includes hospitals in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Antioch, Redwood City and Oakland, and a psychiatric facility in Santa Clara.

In a statement, Kaiser Permanente denies the violations and says it is appealing all of them.

—Molly Peterson

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