For the second time in less than two years, the Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill has been fined for unsafe working conditions involving medical waste, including exposure to used needles. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed a penalty of $15,934 for two violations involving the risk of “physical hazards such as lacerations and puncture wounds” and management’s failure to tell overnight employees that they are not authorized to pick up syringes or other sharp devices.
The hotel, located next to Massachusetts General Hospital, often houses patients before or after surgery.
In late 2015, the hotel was fined $12,000 — later reduced to $6,000 after the hotel agreed to address the concerns — for failing to protect workers from puncture wounds and bodily fluids. But the largely immigrant housekeeping staff says the hotel has made few improvements since then.
“It is alarming to see another serious OSHA citation at a local hotel used by hospital patients,” Tolle Graham, labor and environment coordinator at Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, said in a statement issued by Unite Here Local 26, the hospitality union that is working to organize the workers.
The union surveyed two dozen housekeepers at the hotel in early 2015, many of whom said they had to clean up blood or vomit and were not given the proper equipment to protect themselves.
The Wyndham Hotel Group said that it disagrees with OSHA’s findings and is reviewing them. “We treat such matters very seriously, and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests is always of paramount importance for us,” the company said in a statement.