Historic Filipinotown - An employee of a restroom rental company was pierced to the bone by a discarded syringe while he was emptying the wastewater from a hand-washing station, the Los Angeles Times reported.
This could mean trouble for the city’s program of increasing the number of hand-washing stations and portable toilets across Los Angeles to the help manage the coronavirus outbreak among homeless people.
The portable restroom rental company, Andy Gump Inc., said it would remove the 50 hand-washing stations it had installed throughout the city. But the city said Gump had only picked up five units as of Friday, and that it would be replacing four of those units by Monday, April 6, according to a court filing. The fifth unit is too damaged to go back into service.
The Gump employee was working at 2330 Beverly Blvd. near the needle exchange at the Homeless Healthcare Housing and Outpatient Treatment Facility early in the morning on Friday, April 3.
"The syringe punctured the industrial hose used to pump the waste water out of the hand washing station during the extraction process,” the court filing said. “When the employee grabbed the hose to put it back on the truck, the needle pierced through his protective rubber gloves, the latex gloves he was wearing underneath, and through his skin all the way down to the bone."
The employee immediately reported the incident to the company, then went to the emergency room.
"The employee will be on a regimen of testing and preventative medications, including anti-HIV drugs, for six months, assuming he was not infected," the court document said.
The court document noted that the city has other sanitary stations besides Gump’s. Fifty more portable toilets and 60 other hand washing stations have been deployed in the Skid Row community.