August 30, 2021 | | Comments 1
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And now a brief word from…

The source of any number of potential nightmares…

Sorry for the extraordinarily late notice on this, but our friends at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) are hosting a healthcare symposium on August 31, but hopefully there are spots left. It’s a day-long event, so perhaps you can jump in and out depending on the presenters, etc. I suspect it would be nice to be able to take in the whole of it, but competing priorities might dictate otherwise. I am curious as to what they may have to say about suicide prevention (one of the planned topics), but alas I will be competing with my own priorities.

Recognizing that the “elephant in the room” at the moment remains responding to the pandemic (unless you are on the Gulf Coast and are dealing with Hurricane Ida and the storm’s aftermath—thoughts and prayers going out in that direction), I suspect that it will be topic that is covered rather extensively during the program.

A couple of items of note; the initial OSHA enforcement response plan has been archived in anticipation of OSHA completing a review of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relative to precautions for fully-vaccinated folks, so we’ll have to keep an eye out to see what might be in the works on that count, which can be found (as well as the latest and the greatest) here.

And for those keen on partaking of some legalese as the summer begins its (all too rapid) wind-down, you can view the sum and substance of the Emergency Temporary Standard as it was initially published. Certainly, there are going to be some differences between the original and whatever comes out of the current (and perhaps future) review sessions, it’s tough to think that the whole thing is going to get tossed, so there may be one or two pointers lurking in the verbiage.

Again, my apologies for the late notice on the seminar/webinar/symposium; not quite sure how it slipped past me, but there is a lot of material out there. Hopefully you can “attend.”

Best wishes for a productive week and (with all luck) a restful Labor Day holiday. I suspect we’re looking at a busy autumn into winter stretch. Rest those weary bones for what I think we all hope will be the (finally!) home stretch of this event.

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Filed Under: COVID-19OSHA


Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at

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  1. Summer 2021 OSHA Healthcare Symposium Report
    The OSHA symposium was very well presented. One surprising fact to me was that OSHA has rescinded the letter that allowed facilities with otherwise compliant Respiratory Protection Programs to skip the annual fit testing requirements. The OSHA presenter indicated that the dispensation was retired and all annual fit testing is expected to be documented. I had not seen any OSHA announcements that the exemption was no longer available. Did I miss something?

    The entire discussion on suicide prevention was aimed at physicians and employees. The key was to eliminate the stigma of mental health discussions and ensure access to EAP and other resources. The healthcare suicide rates from Iowa statistics presented placed healthcare/physician suicide rates at a level of farmers which was listed as 35%. There was a significant discussion on risks but it was from a burnout/stress/hopelessness/despair of employee perspective rather than physical risk points in a BH or ED setting for patient harm.

    Unfortunately, OSHA stated that the Symposium was not being recorded.


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