Archive for: First Aid
A couple of weeks ago, a client was asking me about who should be performing the weekly checks of eyewash stations. A clinical surveyor consultant had given them the impression that this should be the responsibility of maintenance staff. Now, I’m not sure if this direction was framed as a “must” or a “would be a good idea,” but what I can tell you is that there is no specific regulatory guidance in any direction on this topic. I do, however, have a fairly succinct opinion on the topic—yeah, I know you’re surprised to hear that!—which I will now share with you.
An item on eyewash stations in Mac’s Safety Space spills over into the OSHA Healthcare Advisor bailiwick and is a good reminder to safety officers whether you are anticipating an accreditation survey or not.
Q: Is it okay to use locker room showers in our ambulatory surgery center for eye exposures to chemicals?
A: It is not compliant to use locker showers in place of emergency eyewash stations for chemical exposures to the eyes.
In the past year I have performed over 100 mock OSHA inspections. I have heard every excuse in the book for not complying with OSHA regulations and CDC guidelines applicable to healthcare settings.
Many times the excuse for noncompliance is that someone told them to do/not to do whatever it is we are discussing. I am going to share some of the bad advice that physician offices have been given by consultants, experts, and even colleagues.
True or False: Because OSHA standards do not define specifics of compliant emergency eyewash equipment, the agency will not fine medical practices if cited for not having one.
The July issue of Medical Environment Update takes a look at the basics for emergency eyewash station OSHA compliance in medical and dental practices.
Here is an excerpt from that article:
The very brief final section of OSHA’s Medical Services and First Aid standard (1910.151[c]) brings into focus the need for emergency eyewash stations in most medical and dental practices:
Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.
In medical and dental practices, this usually means exposures involving but not limited to disinfectants or sterilants such as glutaraldehyde, specimen preservatives such as formaldehyde, hazardous drugs such as the antineoplastic drugs used in chemotherapy, or even splashes from blood or OPIM (see the sidebar on p. 3).Read the rest of this entry »
Here is a tip from the July issue of Medical Environment Update, which featured OSHA compliance and emergency eyewash stations in medical and dental practices.
Plumbed eyewash stations require weekly checks to be compliant with ANSI Z358.1-2009, which OSHA may reference during an inspection. Each week, check for the following:
The May issue of Medical Environment Update takes a close look at first aid programs for workers in medical and dental practices. There is no guarantee of a meaningful emergency response without training.
Here is an excerpt from that article:
The report of a German dental practice’s resorting to sexy uniforms to allay patient anxieties may be an extreme example of the potential for uniform policies in healthcare facilities to become a touchy subject. Leaving low-cut dirndl dresses aside for the moment, has your facility had conflicts with uniform and dress code policies with regard to workplace safety issues?
Your coworkers pass by emergency eyewash stations dozens of times per day. Unfortunately, they might look upon them with unknowing, blind eyes.
To prevent actual blindness in an emergency situation, coordinate a brief, informative tutorial on how to use these safety stations.
A Spokane hospital was cited for not protecting its workers from H1N1 influenza by the Washington State version of OSHA. The state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) issued $8,000 in fines to Sacred Heart Medical Center, according to a February 18 news release from the Washington State Nurses Association.
February is American Heart Month, and along with individuals’ assessing their part in responding to the leading cause of death in the United States, employers have an important decision, too.
“Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are an important lifesaving technology and may have a role to play in treating workplace cardiac arrest,” according OSHA’s AEDs in the Workplace safety and health page.