Archive for: April, 2012

U.S. workers not catching enough ZZZZs

By: April 30th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Among all U.S. workers, 30% report not getting enough sleep, and workers on night shift usually reported the most sleep deprivation, according to the CDC.

“Short Sleep Duration Among Workers — United States, 2010,” published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, April 27, found “an especially high prevalence of short sleep duration was reported by night shift workers in the transportation and warehousing (69.7%) and health-care and social assistance (52.3%) industries.”

Workers pulling night shifts weren’t the only healthcare respondents complaining about lack of sleep. Nearly 30% of regular daytime shift healthcare workers and 36.6% in other shift categories, such as regular evening shifts and rotating shifts, reported short sleep duration (averaging less than 6 hours per 24-hour period).

In addition to adverse health effects such as cardiovascular disease or obesity, insufficient sleep duration is associated with decreased workplace safety and impaired job performance, according to the report.

The report recommends that targeted interventions and in-depth examination of work hours and scheduling with respect to specific industry can help employers in designing sleep friendly of schedules.

“For example, rotating workers forward from evening to night shifts rather than backwards from night to evening shifts makes it easier for circadian rhythms to adjust so that workers can sleep during their rest times,” according to the report.

Look for NIOSH to develop evidence-based training programs on sleep and working hours tailored for managers and employees in several work settings, including nursing.

Why OSHA standards take so long to develop

By: April 30th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on why OSHA standards take, on average, more than seven years to complete found that “increased procedural requirements, shifting priorities, and a rigorous standard of judicial review” contributed to the lengthy time frame.

In responding  the GAO report, Randy Rabinowitz, OMB Watch’s director of regulatory policy said: “In the years since its creation, OSHA’s charge to protect workers from harm has been undermined by Kafkaesque demands for additional reviews of existing rules mandated by new statutes and executive orders,” according to The Hill. While OSHA’s internal inability to remain focused on priorities and regulatory follow-through was the counter argument presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“While some of the changes, such as improving coordination with other agencies to leverage expertise, are within OSHA’s authority, others call for significant procedural changes that would require amending existing laws,” according tot he GAO report.

The GAO report recommended that that OSHA and NIOSH improve collaboration on researching occupational hazards. In that way OSHA could better “leverage NIOSH expertise in determining the needs for new standards and developing them.”

Weigh in on whether you think OSHA standards development eventually will be streamlined on the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll.


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Ask the expert: Doctors and annual bloodborne pathogens training

By: April 30th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Are doctors in a medical practice exempt from OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard yearly update?

A: No. If the doctor is an employee, then annual training is required.

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Weekly poll: Can OSHA pick up the pace?

By: April 30th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

In reporting on why OSHA takes so long to complete standards, the U.S. Government Accountability Office cited multiple challenges including, “increased procedural requirements, shifting priorities, and a rigorous standard of judicial review.” Do you predict that changes will be made to allow OSHA standards to be developed more quickly than before? Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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Making a living shouldn’t include dying

By: April 27th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

In commemorating Workers’ Memorial Day, which is observed each year on April 28 to honor the lives of those who have been injured or killed on the job,  Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels has made available an audio message calling on everyone to support workers’ rights to safe working conditions.

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Household prescription take back day, April 28

By: April 27th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is sponsoring National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will occur in various locations nationwide Saturday, April 28, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

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CAUTIs still a problem

By: April 26th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Bit of a plug, but visitors to OSHA Healthcare Advisor will find HCPro’s webcast on CAUTIs (catheter-associated urinary tract infections) extremely relevant, especially as CAUTIs cause 35% of all hospital-acquired infections every year, with 38,000 patient infections, and costing hospitals $400 million a year, according to an October 2011 National Quality Forum’s Partnership for Patients/ National Priorities Partnership webinar.

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CDC reports on state HAI prevention programs

By: April 24th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

A report by the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network shows how states are performing in preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAI) in three categories: central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and surgical site infections (SSIs).

Despite some uneven progress among the states, HAI-prevention is moving in the right direction, according to the CDC.

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Notes from the field: The bathroom is your lab!

By: April 23rd, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Not many things really leave me speechless. This situation did just that. I will start by saying this was a space the practice was using for 9-12 months while new office space was being built.

I had completed the facility safety part of my mock OSHA Inspection and was ready to ask questions about cleaning and disinfecting instruments.

I was told the office performed pap smears and some minor surgical procedures. I also knew they did some waived lab testing in the practice.

Usually the instrument disinfecting is done in the lab, so I asked the medical assistant to take me to that area. As we walked down the hall, it looked to me like we were headed to a door that was clearly marked “Restroom.”

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Weekly poll: Color-coded scrubs for nurses

By: April 23rd, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

A health system’s switch to color-coded scrubs is receiving push-back from nurses, according to a post appearing on The Leaders’ Lounge.

The reasoning behind the change is that in healthcare where most workers wear scrubs, including nurses and specialists as well receptionists, transporters, and housekeepers, color-coded uniforms are an easy way for patients to quickly identify the people who can best assist them.

While not strictly a worker safety issue, scrubs-related and uniform questions are always a hot topic among OSHA Healthcare Advisor readers.

Should nurses be required to wear prescribed color scrubs or uniforms? Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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Study: Forgetfulness, discomfort blamed for respiratory hygiene noncompliance

By: April 23rd, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Even though nearly all emergency department triage nurses at two university hospitals know that wearing masks makes sense when practicing respiratory hygiene, few do it. And the reason is: They forget.

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FDA: Bacteria found in ultrasound transmission gel poses risk of infection

By: April 19th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The FDA issued a warning, April 18, to healthcare facilities using Other-Sonic Generic Ultrasound Transmission Gel, manufactured by Pharmaceutical Innovations Inc.

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