Archive for: October, 2012

Hello from the new Managing Editor

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

Greetings, OSHA Healthcare Advisor readers!

My name is Will Kilburn, and I’m the new managing editor for several of HCPro’s safety newsletters and ezines, including Medical Environment Update, Briefings on Hospital Safety/Healthcare Security Alert, OSHA Healthcare Connection, Infection Control Weekly Monitor, and Hospital Safety Connection.

In addition to sending news and information out to you, I’ll also take an active role in the conversation between HCPro and you: Posting and moderating discussions on the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Blog as well as Mac’s Safety Space, and monitoring the OSHA Compliance Hotline to make sure your questions get answered by one of HCPro’s experts.

Over the next few months, I’ll also be asking for your opinions and ideas about what we at HCPro do, and how we can do it better. If you have comments, story suggestions, or requests for healthcare safety-related material, please let me know by emailing or calling 800-650-6787 x3714.

Ask the expert: Training for an electronic MSDS system

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

Q: We use an electronic MSDS access system. Are there any special training requirements we need to know about?

A: The most important training requirement beyond those listed in the standard would be teaching staff members how to use the electronic system to access the required information (how to launch the program, any login requirements (e.g. a password), how to navigate the system to find the desired document, etc.) According to OSHA Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), MSDSs must be “readily available,” so I wouldn’t be surprised if an OSHA inspector asked one of your staff members to demonstrate the use of the system. Another aspect you’ll need to include is how to get an MSDS in the event of an electronic system failure, such as a power outage. Is there a backup generator to power computers on the system? Is the information available by phone? Are there (current) paper copies of the MSDSs somewhere in the office?

*This is an excerpt from The OSHA Training Handbook for Healthcare Facilities by Sarah E. Alholm, MAS.

Ask the expert: Safety training in a medical office

By: October 15th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: How often does safety training (bloodborne pathogen, hazardous materials, respiratory, etc.) need to be done within a medical office?

A: Strictly speaking, the only education pieces with specific recurring frequencies are the bloodborne pathogens education and respiratory protection education, which are required to be provided prior to initial work assignment and then annually thereafter.

Also, if there’s an expectation that folks in your office would use fire extinguishers as part of the fire response plan, then there is an annual requirement for extinguisher education as well (OSHA doesn’t specify the nature of the education, so it could be hands or on by demonstration, which could include a video presentation).

Interestingly enough, there is no OSHA  requirement for annual fire drills, but if your medical office operates under the auspices of a hospital, there is an annual requirement for fire drills (and to be quite honest, it would have to be considered an excellent practice to conduct fire drills at least annually).

Other education concerns such as hazard communications and emergency response are required prior to initial work assignment and then whenever there is a change to procedures. There are a number of other potential education concerns that are promulgated as a function of General Industry; to that end, you may find the information on the following webpage ( to be of use, depending on your circumstance.

– Answered by Steve MacArthur, consultant for The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro, and author of Mac’s Safety Space.

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