Medical Environment Update—Getting physicians trained on OSHA bloodborne pathogens

By: October 5th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Training physicians in your practice in accordance with OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard is not only a requirement; it can be a challenge, too. The October issue of  Medical Environment Update examines why this might be so and offers suggestions on how to achieve compliance on initial and annual training among the medical staff. Here is what the article covers:

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

The sense of fear and intimidation in the voice was impossible to ignore. It was a call to the HCPro OSHA consultation hotline. In barely a whisper, so that nobody in her office could overhear her, the caller asked, “Do I really have to train my physicians in bloodborne pathogens? OSHA doesn’t require them to undergo training like the rest of the practice’s staff, does it?”

The answer—that OSHA does not exempt any employee, including a physician, who is exposed to bloodborne pathogens from the training requirements of the standard— did not sit well with her.

“Oh well, maybe I’ll just have them sign the training sheet and leave it at that.”

That may be an over-the-top example of the physician-dominant pecking order for OSHA compliance in medical and dental practices, but it does illustrate a common safety officer observation—complaint, even—that getting physicians to comply with the initial, and especially annual, training requirements of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard can be a challenge.

Hiding behind the employer label
A common misunderstanding is that physicians who are owners of a practice are not subject to OSHA requirements. That may be true for a Marcus Welby–type solo practitioner situation, but not for most practices organized as a professional corporation.

The Medical Environment Update October issue also includes:

  • Vital stats: Fatalities in healthcare
  • Safety tip: How often for routine cleaning?
  • OSHA may regulate physician working hours
  • OSHA medical practice violations on eye protection, exit routes, first aid, and formaldehyde
  • Self-inspection checklist: Bookmarking your way to OSHA compliance
  • Ask the expert Q&As on filing old MSDSs, if safety needle use is ever optional, HBV responder/non-responder status.
  • A true/false quiz designed to test your understanding of OSHA standards and government regulatory guidelines that apply to healthcare facilities

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!


Has anyone purchased the one for medical practice? It seems pretty darn pricy for a new practice starting out…I have been dispointed prior to items that are this expensive as they really don’t give much information in comparrison to what the OHSA offers…I would like to hear from others who have really purchased & see what their experience..


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