Ebola’s clipboard man really isn’t safe and sends a bad message to everyone

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Clipboard Man has set the stage for many great discussions about safety protocols and whether he actually practices what he preaches.  During Nurse Amber Vinson’s preparations to be transferred to a more suitable healthcare facility, Clipboard Man emerges without a hazmat suit while the rest of the crew is donning their hazmat suits.  Major media outlets and world renowned doctors reported that it was okay for this man to not be in the hazmat suit because he maintained three feet of distance between the himself and the infected patient Amber Vinson.

The fatal error

I could by that Clipboard Man was safe if he would have maintained his distance, but then he made a fatal flaw.  As you can see in the picture he is holding a red biohazardous waste bag with his hands.  This violates OSHA’s basic Bloodborne Pathogen regulations as well as Aersol Transmissible Disease standards.  Any good safety or risk management professional worth his/her salt would walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk.  This is a real lesson for all safety and risk management professionals out there.  If you want your staff to be safe, then follow the regulations.  You are not above the law – even if you need to keep good public relations.  If a real hazard exists, follow the rules.  And in this case, holding the bag, is literally taking your life in your hands.

Photo Credit Courtesy of Gawker.com
Photo Credit Courtesy of Gawker.com

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