Archive for: December, 2011

Weekly poll: Prediction on bloodborne pathogens exposures

By: December 30th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

How well will your facility do in preventing occupational bloodborne pathogens exposures in 2012? Take our OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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Ask the expert: Who does OSHA fine for not using safety needles, the worker or employer

By: December 30th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: If an employee refuses to use available safety devices, such as safety needles and sharps, who would pay the fine if an OSHA inspector cites such a situation? The employee or the employer?

A: The employer is responsible and bears the burden of any citations or fines. OSHA only has the power to fine the employer, not the employee.

OSHA would expect the employer to modify the safety education program and training to achieve compliance among staff. Documented progressive disciplinary actions could mitigate the issuance of a citation or the severity of a fine.

Last year the average initial OSHA fine to medical practices for not providing or ensuring the use of safety devices was $1,306, according to Medical Environment Update.

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Joint Commission posts Easy-to-Read 2012 NPSGs

By: December 29th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Last week the Joint Commission (TJC) released an easy-to-read version of the 2012 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs).

In addition to identifying patients correctly, improving staff communication, using medications safely, identifying patient safety risks, and preventing mistakes in surgery, the goals include preventing infections, which appears in all the programs listed below:

  • Ambulatory health
  • Behavioral health
  • Critical access hospitals
  • Home care
  • Hospital
  • Laboratory services
  • Long term care
  • Office-based surgery

For more information, visit The Joint Commission Website.

 

OSHA improves the “It’s the Law” poster page

By: December 28th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

OSHA has improved the Web page where employers go for information about the posting requirements for the OSHA Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law poster.

Employers may download both low and high resolution files from the web page or follow the link to the publications page to order free posters by mail.

Foreign language versions for the poster are also available for downloading in addition to posters for OSHA-approved state plans and other federal posting requirements.

While OSHA does not require posting the “It’s the Law” poster in a foreign language, it does encourage “employers to post additional notices in their workers’ native languages in situations in which workers cannot read English,” according to a November 12, 2004 interpretation letter.

Elevators are safe, but caution is still required

By: December 27th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

It’s a question we probably take for granted, but are you exercising safe practices when using an elevator at your workplace? Or, do you know what to do—maybe more importantly what not to do—if stuck in an elevator.

Two recent workplace deaths from elevator accidents, a Cal State Long Beach employee who was crushed to death while trying to climb out of a stalled elevator, and a Manhattan office worker, who became caught in the doors as the elevator ascended, prompted lawyer Mark Bello, to offer some sound elevator passenger safety advice is his “Despite Recent Fatalities Are Elevators Safe?” blog post.

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Weekly poll: How well did you do this year

By: December 26th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Just a simple question for the last poll of the year. Given the safety and/or infection prevention challenges faced in 2011 in your healthcare facility, how well did you do? Take our OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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Ask the expert: Passing the buck and the needle on disposal practices

By: December 23rd, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Who is responsible, the dental assistant or dentist, for the disposing of a contaminated needle in the sharps container?

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Feds asking for healthcare worker flu shot advice

By: December 21st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is asking for comments on a draft guidance for achieving a 90% influenza immunization rate for healthcare workers by 2020.

The guidance document is from the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC), and the request for comments appeared in the Federal Register, December 19.

In brief, the five recommendations for healthcare employers (HCE) are:

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Sharp advice for healthcare leaders

By: December 20th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Safety culture, while every staff member’s responsibility, has to be a big item for any leader of a healthcare organization. And, as a subset of safety culture, sharps safety is critical to protecting healthcare workers.

That is why I found the article authored by experts from International Healthcare Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and appearing in HealthLeaders Media, December 6, such a good fit for this blog space, because it asks leaders how their institutions are faring in the continuous quality improvement efforts needed to maintain sharps safety.

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Making the case for nurses getting flu shots

By: December 20th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A free, five-minute video makes a compelling case for nurses to receive the influenza vaccination.

The Immunization Action Coalition has selected “Nurse-to-Nurse Influenza Vaccine Safety Video” as its video of the week.

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Weekly poll: Safety and holiday decorations

By: December 19th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Last week’s “Grinch” post was a reminder that holiday decorations can compromise infection prevention as well as facility safety measures.  In your facility this year, did holiday decorations raise any safety or infection control concerns? Take our OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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How the infection prevention Grinch stole Christmas

By: December 16th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

At this time of the year, I usually risk Grinch-related epithets and write an article or blog post on facility safety concerns from holiday decorations. But I just came across an article on holiday decorations and infection control concerns from the land of Dickens, A Christmas Carol, and yes, Scrooge.

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