Archive for: November, 2012

Pamphlet racks in exit routes?

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

Q: In exit hallways, if there are items that are attached to the walls, such as computers or pamphlet racks, is this a problem? There is still about four feet of space to exit.

A: It could be a problem, but if there actually is four full feet of space, it’s probably not. OSHA states: “Objects that project into the route must not reduce the width of the exit route to less than the minimum width requirement.” Exit hallways must be 44 inches wide, so measure carefully how far your computers and pamphlet racks extend into the corridor.

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

View the OSHA Emergency Exit Routes fact sheet here:
www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/emergency-exit-routes-factsheet.pdf

 

 

Who needs to wear lab coats?

By: November 20th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Are medical doctors and nurse practitioners obligated to wear lab coats when seeing patients?

A: It depends. PPE in the form of fluid-resistant garments (gowns or lab coats) is required to be worn by employees whenever the procedure being performed may be reasonably anticipated to splash or spray blood or OPIMs.

Lab coats may or may not be considered PPE, depending on whether the fabric they are made out of is fluid resistant. If lab coats are fluid resistant and provide coverage in the form of high necks, etc., they can be considered PPE. The lab coats would have to be worn during procedures in which a splash/spray exposure could be expected. If the procedures performed cannot be reasonably anticipated to result in splashing or spraying blood or OPIMs, body protection garments are not called for.

The requirement to wear PPE also depends on whether the providers are employees of a corporation or if they are owners of a practice. As employers (if the providers were the owners), the requirements of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard placed upon employees technically do not apply. However, we encourage employers to abide by OSHA requirements to reinforce the important of safety in the facility.

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

How do you store, manage, and access your MSDS?

By: November 14th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Many workplaces are going paperless with their MSDS, storing them as PDFs or relying on fax-on-demand services. Others are sticking with paper, or are using a combination of electronic and paper files. How does your facility acquire, store, and manage access to your MSDS?

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Who should attend safety meetings?

By: November 12th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: I’m planning safety meetings for our staff (not yearly retraining). Are clerical employees required to attend every meeting if only medical issues are being discussed? Is a quarterly meeting okay?

A: No, clerical employees do not need to sit through meetings solely on clinical safety items. Quarterly meetings are good, but don’t overlook all the opportunities you already have at your normal staff meetings. Take a couple of minutes to talk about a safety-related topic. Timely events and examples really hit home. You’d be surprised how many poeople in your office can’t describe where to find the fire alarms or how to operate the eyewash station. Just three to five minutes at the start of the meetings really reinforces a safety-first attitude. For maximum impact, keep these mini-presentations short and to the point. You may not even need another quarterly staff safety meeting!

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

Ask the expert: How on-time does yearly training need to be?

By: November 5th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Does our annual bloodborne pathogen training have to happen exactly one year to the day later? We are low-staffed right now and scheduling is a concern, and an extra month would really help.

A: Your annual training doesn’t need to take place on the exact anniversary date of the preceding training but should be provided on a data “reasonably close” to the anniversary date. OHSA allows for you to take into account the company’s and the employees’ convenience in scheduling, but if the annual training cannot be completed by the anniversary date, you’ll need to write down why it’s been delayed and when the training will be provided.

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

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