Every worker has the right to a safe and healthful work environment including access to the proper equipment necessary to keep them safe. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is vital in minimizing exposure to possible injuries or illnesses.
A lesser known compliance responsibility for employers is the maintenance of confidential records for 30 years after an employee terminates employment. Here are four record types that fall into this requirement from OSHA (1910.1020 e). The purpose of this requirement is to yield both direct and indirect improvements in the detection, treatment, and prevention of occupational disease.
Most people don’t think of hospitals as an environment for high employee injuries. But in fact, more workers are injured at hospitals than in coal mines, law enforcement, or at industrial jobs. Because the health care industry is so closely related to wellness, people overlook all of the obstacles hospital employees face to avoid injury; including needle sticks, bloodborne pathogens, and equipment mishaps.
The Gillette News Record recently posted an article about the high rate of hospital injury as compared to other industries. The article stated:
Stressed at work? Deep breathing could be the answer—unless, of course, you’re exposed to a dangerous chemical in the air. Is breathing risky in your work environment?
Formaldehyde is a danger that many Stericycle customers face.
In Part I of OSHA Violations in Healthcare, we focused on 2 specific areas of OSHA investigations:
Think OSHA would never inspect your healthcare facility? Think twice. In April 2012, OSHA announced it would be targeting nursing homes and residential care facilities for the next 3 years. Other healthcare facilities are not immune. In the past year, OSHA has inspected medical and dental practices and surgical centers.
Part of the best practice for the HCS includes “The United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, Revision 3.” Although this mouthful of a name sounds a bit like a ‘70s soft drink commercial (teaching the world to sing), the Globally Harmonized System will help protect employees worldwide from chemical hazards by making hazard communication more understandable.
One of the GHS’s features includes pictograms (simplified pictures) to communicate the health or physical hazard (or both) of each of the hundreds of thousands of hazardous chemicals used. The GHS refers to these hazards with pictograms. These GHS pictograms are white, diamond-shaped icons outlined in red with black illustrations in the center. The 8 pictograms that OSHA has adopted include:
The actual pictograms and detailed GHS information are covered in the Steri-Safe Preferred and Select GHS Safety Meeting, available now.
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