Nursing home worker deaths going unscrutinized by federal government

by NRSKarenRN NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN (Guide) Guide Expert Nurse

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 45 years experience.


July 23, 2020

Nursing home worker deaths going unscrutinized by federal government


Less than a month before he died of Covid-19, Victor Sison posted photos of himself at the New Jersey nursing home where he had worked for many years.

He was wrapped in what appeared to be garbage bags. "LORD HELP ALL MY FELLOW FRONTLINERS," he wrote in early April.

But shortly after posting the photo of himself in plastic, Sison, too, became ill. The 64-year-old died on April 18, just a year before he planned to retire....

..To date, the state health department has reported that 65 employees have contracted the virus at the facility where Sison worked, Complete Care at Hamilton Plaza. Three have died.

But when Sison passed away, his death went unnoticed by the one federal agency responsible for protecting workers during the pandemic: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA did not send inspectors to the facility to find out what happened to Sison or his two colleagues, or to determine whether working conditions at the 120-bed nursing home were safe, according to agency data. Following inquiries from CNN about Sison, however, OSHA said this week it has launched an investigation into a death at the facility "to determine the proper course of action."

Nursing homes are some of the highest risk environments for contracting Covid-19, and former OSHA officials say the agency is ill-equipped and unprepared to ensure that workers are protected. While these critics say that the agency should require health care employers to report every worker death from Covid-19, OSHA issued guidance in May that gives employers permission to not report deaths to the agency if a "reasonable and good faith inquiry ... cannot determine whether it is more likely than not" that an employee's Covid-19 infection was linked to exposure at work....


NewRN'16, ADN, RN

204 Posts

16 hours ago, NRSKarenRN said:


July 23, 2020

Nursing home worker deaths going unscrutinized by federal government

Why are you even surprised????

My facility DON said: stop testing all these ppl!!

Excuse me , I'm following Dr.s orders. I will swab pt as ordered!

We live in a Bizzaro world, nothing makes sense anymore. I am considering quitting my job, I can't just "stop testing " pts because they don't like the results.

Edited by NewRN'16