OSHA Addresses Hazards for Healthcare Workers

July 31, 2015

Guidelines will apply to all in-patient settings.

Looking to improve safety for workers in in-patient healthcare facilities? OSHA has released a memorandum that adds workplace dangers such as musculoskeletal disorders related to patient/resident handling, bloodborne pathogens, tuberculosis, workplace violence, and slips, trips, and falls to its list of “focus hazards” to examine during facility inspections.

The new inspection rules will apply to all federal OSHA inspections performed on hospitals or nursing and residential care facilities. Individual state plans are instructed to follow suit and integrate the new rules for their own inspections as well. Compliance officers utilizing the guidelines will assess the state of these focus hazards in addition to risks that are either the subject of or discovered during the investigation.

The change has been implemented due to both the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA’s own inspection history demonstrating that workers in healthcare settings commonly encounter these hazards. Learn more about the new OSHA guidelines here.

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