Archive for: September, 2010

Putting the fun in annual safety training

By: September 9th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The following is an excerpt from the Complete Guide to Laboratory Safety, Third Edition, by Terry Jo Gile. To purchase this book, click here.

Annual safety training, or any training for that matter, can sometimes be looked at as a nuisance, especially by experienced workers who may have seen the same old video year-in and year-out.

That’s why it’s imperative that those responsible for safety training vary the way in which they offer training so employees actually enjoy the time spent reviewing safety standards, rather than loathe it. For example, many people respond well to humor. Finding ways employees can relate to a subject matter will result in positive feedback and better retention of important safety information.

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The Joint Commission issues flu vaccination challenge

By: September 9th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Cue the Olympic fanfare theme. The medal ceremony is just about to begin, Joint Commission style.

The accreditation organization is again issuing a Flu Vaccination Challenge (FVC) to healthcare facilities to raise vaccination rates among healthcare workers to medal-wining results:

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Healthcare safety officers: Give us your feedback!

By: September 9th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

As a healthcare safety officer your feedback is an essential ingredient in making our safety books at HCPro both topical and timely.

Please take a moment to answer our short survey to be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to use at the HCMarketplace. Our goal is to provide books that can help make your work environment safer and your training more efficient.

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Portable hand sanitizer needs to adhere to fire safety standards

By: September 8th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Our alcohol hand rubs are in bottles in various areas throughout the center. They are mobile bottles. Do the LSC requirements at 42 CFR 416.44 (b)(5) apply to our center? Our bottles are not “installed.”

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Hand sanitizer isn’t just for your hands

By: September 8th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

According to one study published in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology argues that hand sanitizer (or at least some sort of disinfectant) should be used regularly on stethoscopes, which are often overlooked when it comes to disinfection.

Researchers emphasized that cleaning stethoscopes with an alcohol wipe has been the traditional practice, but most clinicians consider it to be impractical.

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Infection preventionist: Give us your feedback!

By: September 7th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

If you are and  infection preventionist, your feedback is an essential ingredient in making our infection control books at HCPro both topical and timely.

Please take a moment to answer our short survey to be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to use at the HCMarketplace. Our goal is to provide books that can help make your work environment safer and your training more efficient.

Read the rest of this entry »

Test your safety IQ: OSHA bloodborne pathogens fines, restricted access, inspections, and mandatory flu shots

By: September 7th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

This is a sample of the simple questions covering practical safety information from the September issue of Medical Environment Update. Each issue includes a quiz to test your understanding of articles, standards, and guidelines covered in that issue or as a discussion starter in your next employee or safety committee meeting.

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Ask the expert: OSHA fines; follow the money

By: September 7th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: When OSHA cites a business, does the fine go to OSHA for operating expenses?

A: Penalties collected from businesses through OSHA violations go to the U.S. Treasury’s general fund as required by the Section 17. Penalties of the OSH Act of 1970. Fines are not used to directly fund OSHA activities.

Get into compliance with HCPro’s Basic OSHA Compliance Manual Kits for medical or dental practices. Receive bimonthly electronic manual updates through your newsletter subscription that keep your regulatory manual up to date and in compliance!

Medical Environment Update—Getting real with OSHA violation data

By: September 7th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The September issue of  Medical Environment Update examines the most frequent and expensive fines for medical and dental practices for past year. As expected bloodborne pathogens predominate, but unlike other inspection data from OSHA, this specially obtained report goes into the details of what OSHA is finding and what it is fining medical and dental practices for workplace safety violations. Here is what the article covers:

  • Overview of fines for the last 12 months (click here for excerpt)
  • Common medical practice violations, chapter and verse
  • Expensive fines; like working without a net
  • What about dental practices?
  • Table: Quick look at frequent and expensive OSHA fines, July 2009 to June 2010
  • How to use these data

Here is an excerpt from that article and a look at what else is covered in the September issue.

If you received a citation during an OSHA inspection in the past year, chances are the inspector found something wrong with your exposure control plan (ECP). If you didn’t get inspected, chances are there is still something wrong with your ECP.

That’s because bloodborne pathogens ECP citations—the requirement has been in effect since the promulgation of the standard in 1990—have again topped the list of OSHA violations for medical and dental practices, according to a report from OSHA.

The overview

Every year, Medical Environment Update acquires a detailed report of citations by standard for medical (the category includes clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and various outpatient settings) and dental practices from the OSHA Office of Management Systems. The data, which cover all federal and state citations from July 2009 through June 2010, showed 708 individual citations for medical practices, an increase of 20% from the previous year, and 392 citations for dental practices, an increase of 30%.

Total fines increased by approximately the same proportion on the medical side, while decreasing on the dental side. The difference in the dental amount was due to an extraordinary fine of $76,500 imposed on a Nashua, NH, dental practice for willful violations of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard in September 2008.

The Medical Environment Update September issue also includes:

Click on the link below for more information about subscribing to Medical Environment Update and the OSHA Program Manual.

Get into compliance with HCPro’s Basic OSHA Compliance Manual Kits for medical or dental practices. Receive bimonthly electronic manual updates through your newsletter subscription that keep your regulatory manual up to date and in compliance!

Weekly poll: Is OSHA getting tougher on enforcement?

By: September 6th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

An examination of the types of OSHA news releases posted by the Bush administration compared to those issued during the Obama administration shows a greater focus on identifying and fining violators of standards. Is it your impression that OSHA is indeed getting tougher in the enforcement area. Take our poll and let us know.

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Labor Day and workplace safety

By: September 6th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Here is some appropriate news for Labor Day.

A study from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago shows that 85% of workers consider workplace safety most important among labor standards and regulations, even outranking other concerns such as family medical leave, minimum wage, sick days, and overtime pay.

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Researchers say, ‘Stock up!’

By: September 3rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Researchers are advising hospitals to stock up on masks, respirators, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) when a potential pandemic is anticipated.

A study conducted in three hospitals in Vancouver, Canada looked at all individuals with influenza-like illness admitted to the facilities from June 28, 2009 through December 19,2009 in an effort to explain the impact the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic had on the use of facial protective equipment (PPE).

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