The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced its plan for a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) focusing on nursing and residential care facilities. The program, which will aim to protect workers from serious safety and health hazards, includes outreach efforts and inspections on specific hazards for a three-year period.
The announcement comes after it was divulged that nursing and residential care facilities experienced one of the highest rates of lost workdays due to injuries and illness of all major American industries in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. During this NEP, OSHA will target facilities with a days-away-from-work rate of 10 of higher per 100 full-time workers.
The program will provide guidance to OSHA compliance staff on the policies and procedures for targeting and conducting inspections specifically focused on the hazards faced by nursing and residential care workers, which include:
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals and drugs
- Exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material
- Exposure to communicable diseases
- Ergonomic stressors due to lifting patients
- Slips, trips, and falls