Archive for: April, 2010

Ask the expert: Booties and masks in the cafeteria

By: April 30th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: We have been told that all personal protective equipment (PPE) worn in the OR or procedure room should be removed before leaving the room/area. We’re trying to enforce the removal of such PPE. No booties and mask in the cafeteria! Is this an OSHA standard? Is there a fine.?

A: The applicable section of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard is:

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Will OSHA let me off the hook for PPE violations due to non-compliant workers?

By: April 29th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

There is always the chance that you’ll run into a safety officer’s worst nightmare: employees who disregard safety procedures despite disciplinary action, consultation, and evident risks to themselves and those around them.

Fortunately, OSHA does provide a small amount of leeway in this area, but only with the proper documentation.

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Handling small volumes of formalin

By: April 29th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: We have recently begun a research study that requires our laboratory staff to handle a small volume (6mL) of Formalin. Are there any safety requirements needing to be followed to protect these employees with handling and transferring Formalin from one vial to another?

A: When working with a potential carcinogen like Formalin, regardless of the amount you must wear a lab coat that meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), fulfill OSHA requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) – latex or Nitrile gloves – and work somewhere where ventilation removes the fumes from the breathing zone such as a fume hood.

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Preventing surgical fires

By: April 29th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

There are approximately 100 fires reported annually in the perioperative setting, and that includes traditional ORs as well as other areas “where invasive procedures are performed such as cardiac catheterization labs, endoscopy suites, ambulatory surgery centers, eye centers, and emergency departments,” according to HCPro’s OR Surgical Fire Training Guide.

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MRSA rates higher in long-term care, HIV-positive, and hemodialysis patients

By: April 28th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A recent study published in the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology indicates that certain patient populations are more prone to harboring MRSA infections, including elderly long-term care patients, HIV-positive outpatients, and patients receiving hemodialysis.

Researchers took nasal swab samples from patients at 11 different inpatient and outpatient facilities between January 23, 2006, through July 27, 2007. MRSA was prevalent in 20% of elderly, long-term care patients, 16% of HIV-infected outpatients, 15% of outpatients receiving hemodialysis, and 14% of inpatients receiving hemodialysis.

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Ask the expert: Hazardous drug MSDS file

By: April 28th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: For my material safety data sheet (MSDS) files, I separate chemicals from the injectable hazardous drugs. Is this OK with OSHA?

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OSHA to consider infectious disease standard

By: April 27th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

OSHA isn’t focusing on just aerosol transmissible disease for new regulations; instead it is considering a standard applying to all possible routes of infectious disease transmission.

That was the information conveyed by David Michaels, assistant secretary for OSHA during his regulatory Web chat, April 26.

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Take time to observe Workers Memorial Day

By: April 26th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

April 28, 2010 is Workers Memorial Day, a day to recognize the sacrifice of workers who died or sustained work-related injuries this past year.

In 2008, 5,071 U.S. workers died from occupational injuries, while it is estimated that 49,000 deaths annually are attributed to work-related illnesses, according to Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review, April 23

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Weekly poll: OSHA training for non-English speaking employees

By: April 26th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

As you may have read already, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis recently touched on the requirements of safety training in her keynote address at the National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health and Safety.

Employers must provide non-English safety training to those employees that receive work instructions in a language other than English.

Does your facility make accommodations for non-English speaking employees? Let us know in the poll below.

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Cal/OSHA hits hospital for aerosol transmissible disease violation

By: April 23rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

In a major application of California’s aerosol transmissible disease standard—the only one currently on the books in the US—Cal/OSHA fined Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland, $101,485.

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Ask the expert: Lab coat for dental hygienist, who is responsible?

By: April 23rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: I understood that lab coats for dental hygienists were to be provided and laundered by the dental practice. Now my new employer tells me I must provide and clean my own lab coat. What’s the regulation?

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Egregious OSHA PPE violators: Yikes! That’s expensive

By: April 22nd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

OSHA’s tactic of hitting flagrant violators of personal protective equipment (PPE) standards with multiple citations received support from the court last week.

An April 16 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld OSHA’s “authority to penalize employers on a per-instance basis in willful or egregious cases,” reports the Environmental Resource Center.

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