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Safety in numbers

The November issue of Medical Environment Update [1] features an article about OSHA inspections in physician offices, and behind all the numbers and statistics, it seems the best way complying with standards (especially in the smaller setting) involves many voices rather than just one.

Lisa Sisneros, OT-C, an orthopedic technologist at Panorama Orthopedics and Spine Center in Golden, Colorodo is her facility’s safety coordinator, but receives a lot of support from a safety committee made up of employees throughout the clinic. Here’s what she had to say:

I believe that having a number of people I can count on makes things much easier in terms delegating so each person has a reasonable amount of work to do and nobody feels overwhelmed. I also believe that having the input of a variety of people with different job descriptions can provide multiple points of view, and also give the committee more credibility with administration. This results in more support for our work and, thus, a more effective safety program. As long as the committee presents its recommendations with good background information, proper interpretation of regulations and cost analysis, we have generally had good support from the administration in purchasing products, using staff-meeting time for training and making changes in the clinic.

Evidently, strength in numbers means a louder voice, so fewer problems will fall on deaf ears. The only challenge, she said, is making sure committee members who aren’t medically trained understand the OSHA standards in order to train other staff members.

What measures have you found to be effective? Let us know in the comments section below.