Nursing homes draw OSHA emphasis program
With workers in nursing and residential care facilities experiencing injuries “2.3 times higher than that of all private industry,” OSHA announced a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to protect workers from serious safety and health hazards that are common in medical industries.
“These are people who have dedicated their lives to caring for our loved ones when they are not well. It is not acceptable that they continue to get hurt at such high rates,” according to Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health in an agency news release. “Our new emphasis program for inspecting these facilities will strengthen protections for society’s caretakers.”
Workplace hazards that the NEP will focus on include: exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material; exposure to other communicable diseases such as tuberculosis; exposure to hazardous chemicals and drugs; ergonomic stressors related to lifting patients; workplace violence; slips, trips and falls.
The NEP became effective April 5 and will expire in three years.