Archive for: June, 2012

Study: Influenza vaccination rates differ between hospital and non-hospital settings

By: June 29th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

A study appearing in  Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology looks at how and why healthcare workers in non-hospital settings differ in their acceptance of influenza vaccination, and in particular the vaccination for H1N1.

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OSHA cautions on fireworks hazards

By: June 29th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Usually the only fireworks that one equates with workplace safety is of the interpersonal type, but with Independence Day coming up, OSHA reminds employers,  employees, and regular consumers of the danger inherent in fireworks displays, both public and private.

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Ask the expert: Emergency eyewash stations and blood exposures

By: June 28th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Are emergency eyewash stations required for blood exposures to the eyes?

A: There is a fine technical debate among healthcare safety officers as to whether OSHA’s Medical Services and First Aid standard (1910.151[c]) applies to blood splashes to the eyes. And the answer is: Maybe.

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CMS will cite on reuse of single dose vials except…

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

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reiterated that healthcare organizations will be cited for using single-dose/single-use vials on multiple patients except when the medications are repackaged into smaller doses by following the standards of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).

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Ask the expert: Refusing the hepatitis B post-vaccination titer

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

Q: If an employee agrees to the hepatitis B the vaccination but fails to follow through on the titer one to two months after the series, what should I do for OSHA compliance?

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Weekly poll: OSHA fines vs. environmental fines

By: June 25th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

One of the recommendations that the American Industrial Hygiene Association made to OSHA was to increase fines to put them more in line with other regulatory agencies, and cites state and federal environmental violations as examples.  Do you believe that OSHA fines are too lenient, especially when compared to fines imposed by environmental regulatory agencies? Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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AIHA advice for OSHA includes stiffening fines

By: June 22nd, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has released a white paper which highlights the emerging roles and issues facing OSHA.

“Perspective on the Role of OSHA in Advancing Occupational Safety and Health for the Nation” makes 17 recommendations addressing OSHAs current approach and opportunities for improved effectiveness in key areas enumerated in the agency’s strategic plan and the 2011–2016 strategic plan, including f the Department of Labor (DOL), including the modification of OSHA penalties.

AIHA calls the current maximum penalty structure—$70,000 per violation for willful or repeat violations, $7,000 per day for failure to abate hazards, and $7,000 per violation for other violations—”woefully inadequate” compared to fines from other regulatory agencies. For example, employer fines for breaking environmental laws can be as high as $25,000 a day.  Also, OSHA’s maximum criminal penalty for a willful violation leading to the death of a worker is six months compared to 15 years in jail for the serious violation of environmental laws.

“AIHA supports amending OSHA criminal penalties so that they are at least as stringent as penalties for violations of environmental laws.” according to the white paper.

Other recommendations include:

  • Having primary authority for all safety and health issues in workplaces that the agency regulates
  • Reforming the standard-setting process
  • Applying standards to all workers, including municipal, state and federal
  • Promoting occupational safety and health programs for small and medium-sized employers
  • The continuation of the general duty clause to enforce employer responsibility to provide safe and healthful working conditions.
  • Updating the Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)

Fighting outbreaks with electronic medical records

By: June 21st, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Electronic medical records now play a major role in investigating infectious disease outbreaks and other threats to public health.

“By combing through the data now received almost continuously from hospitals and other medical facilities, some health departments are spotting and combating outbreaks with unprecedented speed, reports The New York Times, June 18.

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Nurses and depression

By: June 21st, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

At a rate of 18%, nurses are twice as likely to experience depression as the general public, according to a study published recently in the journal Clinical Nurse Specialist.

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Study examines infections from contaminated alcohol pads

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

A small cluster of unusual illnesses at a Colorado children’s hospital prompted an investigation that quickly identified alcohol prep pads contaminated with Bacillus cereus bacteria, according to a report in the July issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. The investigation also led to an international recall of the specific brand of  alcohol prep pads involved.

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CDC instructs on infection prevention in dialysis settings

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

Preventing infections in dialysis settings is the topic of a new online course offered by the CDC.

The CDC designed the course for outpatient hemodialysis healthcare workers, including technicians and nurses, to ensure that CDC infection prevention recommendations are implemented.

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Tips for slip, trip, and fall prevention week

By: June 18th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The National Safety Council (NSC) reminds that week 3 of June National Safety Month is Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls (STF) week.

Here is a list of the Council’s STF tips to share with your co-workers.

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