Archive for: December, 2013

Still time to join the Jan. 7 focus group!

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

As we get closer to the New Year, I sincerely hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season.

Since we all have a lot on our calendars, I wanted to give a friendly reminder that it’s not too late to get in on an opportunity to let us know how we’re doing.

We here at HC Pro take your input seriously to make our products better. If you are a healthcare clinic safety professional and a reader of Medical Environment Update, we’d like to invite you to participate in a one-hour focus group session to tell us what you like about the newsletter and what you would like to see to make it better. We are planning the session for Tuesday, Jan. 7 from 1 – 2 p.m. EST.

If you are interested, please send me an email at jpalmer@hcpro.com with your contact information and we’ll make sure you are involved.

Thanks so much

John Palmer

Join the MEU focus group on Jan. 7!

By: December 23rd, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

We here at HC Pro take your input seriously to make our products better. If you are a healthcare clinic safety professional and a reader of Medical Environment Update, we’d like to invite you to participate in a one-hour focus group session to tell us what you like about the newsletter and what you would like to see to make it better. We are planning the session for Tuesday, Jan. 7 from 1 – 2 p.m.

If you are interested, please send me an email at jpalmer@hcpro.com with your contact information and we’ll make sure you are involved.

Thanks so much

John Palmer

National Safety Month – What will you be doing?

By: December 18th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

With Christmas around the corner, it’s hard to be thinking about February already. But we at Medical Environment Update are busy at work on that issue of the newsletter.

February is National Safety Awareness Month, and we figured we’d celebrate by reaching out to our readers and asking what you do to celebrate and bring safety to the forefront in your workplace.

Do you have any special training ideas or activities that you do with your employees? Do you have any tools or techniques that you could share? We’d like to highlight you in our newsletter story and let others know what sets you apart and hopefully share your knowledge and experience.

While we’re at it, we’ve spent a lot of time writing about how to survive an OSHA inspection and what to expect from OSHA next year. Have any of you had a recent OSHA inspection? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Perhaps you could share the experience – what did the inspection look like? What did they find? Was it a positive or negative experience?

Your input could help your colleagues get ready for the next inspection.

I’m looking to get the next issue’s stories written by New Year’s so any help would be appreciated. As always, feel free to email me at jpalmer@hcpro.com

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

John

Learn GHS rules from our safety experts in live Webcast

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

If you still haven’t trained your staff on the new changes to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, now’s the time to do it. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that as of December 1, 2013 OSHA required all employees to be trained to recognize the new Safety Data Sheet formats under the new GHS rules. If you don’t know where to start, we can help!

Join safety experts Marge McFarlane and Paul Penn in a live 90-minute Webcast on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 from 1-2:30 p.m. EST. In their presentation, McFarlane and Penn will explain what your staff members need to know to be safe and to implement the GHS changes, and give you tips on how to train your employees in the changes. Plus, they will answer your questions in a live question and answer session. For a low price of $239, you can participate in the Webcast and come away with a CD of the session to keep for yourself.

Topics that will be discussed include how to comply with OSHA’s implementation dates for GHS, some tips on how to improve worker safety in your facility, and how to transition from the old Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to the new Safety Data Sheets (SDS) that track hazardous substances in your facility.

Check out the details and sign up for the Webcast on HCPro Marketplace.

January edition of MEU is coming soon!

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

It’s hard to believe that it’s not even Christmas yet, and I’m already working on newsletters for February and March. I invite you to take a look at the January edition of Medical Environment Update, which will feature a Q &A piece with Dan Scungio, known as “Dan the Lab Safety Man.” Dan is a Laboratory Safety Officer for Sentara Healthcare, a multi-hospital system in the Tidewater region of Virginia. Here’s an excerpt of my piece with him this month:

What will be the biggest issues OSHA will target this year? Do you think there will be more inspections? Why or why not?

With the December 1, 2013 deadline for mandatory training on the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), I suspect OSHA may target chemical management in 2014. Every employee who handles hazardous chemicals was required to have training on the new label elements (including pictograms) and the updated Safety Data Sheet (SDS) format. While hospitals and other medical facilities seem to be more frequently on OSHA’s hit list these days, it is likely there will be fewer inspections in 2014. That’s probably a result of continued reduction in staff and another potential government shutdown or lack of funding for the organization.

It’s no secret that healthcare workers have some of the highest rates of injury in any industry. What, in your opinion, are some of the things that put clinic workers at the most risk?

The highest risk for clinic workers tends to be via their direct contact with patients. Collecting blood or even nasal samples brings staff in close contact making viral spread fairly easy. Other sources of risk include needle sticks and other bloodborne pathogen exposure from handling patient samples. Bloodborne diseases include hepatitis and HIV.

OSHA is proposing a new rule that would require employers to report workplace injuries electronically, publicly and more often. How would this new rule affect most workplaces? Is this a positive step? Why or why not?

I think this is a positive step for many reasons. Employees and employers both should be open and transparent about their injuries and exposures. That promotes an atmosphere not if blame, but rather it forces the focus to be on the solutions which is a good thing. Also, knowing the data can help specific sites determine goals- benchmark data can always be helpful when examining site-specific injury rates. I know some people think this proposal may lead some employers to under-report because of fear of reprisals or investigations, and OSHA will need to be careful about their use of the data. With care, they can set a positive response and eventual improvements in employee injury rates.

We’d like to hear your comments!

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

We here at HC Pro take your input seriously to make our products better. If you are a healthcare clinic safety professional and a reader of Medical Environment Update, we’d like to invite you to participate in a one-hour focus group session to tell us what you like about the newsletter and what you would like to see to make it better. We are planning the session during the week of Jan. 16, but won’t set a definite day and time until we know who would like to participate.

If you are interested, please send me an email at jpalmer@hcpro.com.

Thanks so much

John Palmer

Whistleblowers can now make complaints to OSHA online

By: December 6th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

So you got something to say about your employer but you want to keep it anonymous and easy?

OSHA is now making it easier for employees to file complaints about their employer by providing an online form for whistleblowers who feel they have been treated unfairly, or that there is an unsafe condition at work.

Currently, complaints can only be made to OSHA by calling a number or by mailing in a complaint form.

Read all about the new OSHA online form here.

What are you doing to train your staff on the new GHS standards?

By: December 2nd, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

The December 1 deadline to train your staff in the new OSHA hazard communication standard has passed, and we hope you hope you have already introduced your workers to the new pictograms and Safety Data Sheet format.

If not, we have the perfect solution if you’re still up in the air about what to do. In a new 90-minute program, expert speakers Marge McFarlane and Paul Penn will explain what staff need to know to be safe and to implement the GHS changes. Plus they will answer your questions in a live question and answer session.

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