Archive for: September, 2013

Five issues that OSHA will target in remainder of 2013

By: September 30th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

According to this blog piece from Eric J. Conn, an attorney with Epstein Becker Green, OSHA already has their target list of what kinds of violations they will looking for in workplace inspections for the remainder of the year. In the healthcare field, expect the usual suspects – fall hazards, emergency exits, and hazard communication.

Read the entire blog below:

5 issues OSHA will target in remainder of 2013

Watchdog report says OSHA to blame for high rate of healthcare worker injuries

By: September 26th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

A Washington, D.C.-based worker advocacy group says OSHA needs to step up its game when it comes to protecting healthcare workers, who suffer one of the nation’s highest rates of workplace injuries.

Among other things, Public Citizen, in a report released in July, claims that while healthcare workers outnumber construction workers by a ratio of 2-to-1, OSHA performs 20 times more construction work site inspections than healthcare facilities. Blaming budgetary restraints, the group says more inspections could catch hazardous workplace conditions that could prevent some of these injuries.

Read the entire report below:

“Health Care Workers Unprotected” report by Public Citizen

OSHA awards $10 million in health and safety training grants

By: September 19th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

OSHA has awarded $10.1 million in health and safety training grants to 70 organizations, including non-profits, labor unions, faith-based organizations, and colleges. The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program gives out one-year grants to organizations for education and training programs to help employees identify workplace hazards, create injury-prevention programs, and inform employees of their rights and responsibilities as employees.

Healthcare workers near top of the list for getting hurt on the job.

By: September 16th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

Needles everywhere. Dangerous germs. Blood, urine and vomit. Users high on bath salts.

And, of course, lots of heavy lifting.
You have to be brave to face the hazards of working in health care.

Not something you didn’t know. Read the entire article below:

Study: Healthcare infections cost $10 billion a year

By: September 13th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

A recent study from researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that the five most common healthcare related infections costs the U.S. healthcare system almost $10 billion per year.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined data collected from 1986 to April 2013 from published literature, and found that central line-associated bloodstream infection are the most costly on a case-to-case basis, costing $45,814 a year, and representing about 34% of the total number of HAIs in the U.S. Ventilator-associated pneumonia was second, at $40,144. Finishing the list was surgical site infections at $20,785, c. Difficile infections at $11,285, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections at $896.

Preventing needlesticks could save $1 billion a year

By: September 10th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

Despite federal mandates put in place 13 years ago to protect healthcare workers from needlesticks, they are still being stuck at an alarming rate. By some estimates, some 600,000 workers in medical clinics suffer needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries every year.

Safe in Common [SIC], a Lewisberry, PA-based non-profit advocate for healthcare worker safety, released statistics in late August estimating that 1,000 healthcare workers in the U.S. are stuck by a needle every day.
And those are expensive needle sticks. SIC estimates sharps injuries costs the U.S. healthcare system up to $1 billion for laboratory testing fees, counseling, and costs related to post-exposure follow-ups. This amounts to an estimated $3,042 per victim each year, according to CDC estimates.

“These completely preventable injuries, needless cost burdens on the healthcare system and psychological trauma inflicted on personnel is startling when safer equipment and smarter work practices are available to personnel across the healthcare spectrum,” says Safe in Common Chairperson Mary Foley, PhD, RN. “At a time when healthcare personnel are forced to wear Kevlar gloves to protect their hands from needlesticks, we’re highlighting the costs of ignoring safety-engineered devices to avoid these needless injuries.”

Up to 30 percent of GI scopes found to be infection hazards

By: September 5th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

A recent report released by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) chronicled a study in which up to 30 percent of scopes used in gastro-intestinal procedures such as colonoscopies and endoscopies in U.S. hospitals and clinics were found to contaminated to the point of being an infection hazard, let alone a major OSHA violation.

Because of the intimate exposure of the scopes to a part of the human body that naturally contains waste products such as fecal matter and bacteria, the scopes need to be specifically and carefully cleaned and disinfected in an industry-accepted six-step process that starts with manual cleaning at the bedside, and ends with disinfection with a high-end solution.

But proper cleaning assumes that busy clinics and hospitals have staff properly trained in the disinfection of the scopes, some of which have very specific instructions depending on the model of the device. In addition, some infection control experts say more often than not, procedures are not being followed.

“This has become a champion pet peeve of mine,” says Kathy Rooker, owner of Columbus Healthcare & Safety Consultants in Canal Winchester, Ohio. “I have seen an employee cleaning a laryngoscope with a hand wipe and the patient was waiting in the room for them. If I was [a patient], I would request a doctor who would allow me to observe the cleaning process.”

Workplace Fatalities down in 2012

By: September 3rd, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

New statistics released by the U.S. Department of Labor show an overall decrease in workplace fatalities in 2012 compared with a year earlier.

An Aug. 22 statement from Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez showed that 4,383 workers died in 2012, 310 fewer than the 4,693 fatalities in 2011.

Texas saw the most worker deaths, at 531, with Rhode Island logging only 8 deaths in 2012. Most of the worker deaths reported involved motor vehicle accidents.

About 106 fatalities were reported in the healthcare industry, representing about 2 percent of the total U.S. workplace fatality deaths. A majority of those deaths were healthcare practitioners and technical occupations and were caused by falls or roadway accidents.

See the entire OSHA news statement at www.

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