OSHA Launches Online Resource for Worker Safety in Hospitals

 
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched a new educational Web resource, https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals/ , which has extensive materials to help hospitals prevent worker injuries, assess workplace safety needs, enhance safe patient handling programs, and implement safety and health management systems. The materials include fact books, self-assessments and best practice guides.

The website's materials on safe patient handling are designed to address the most common type of injuries hospital workers face, and hospitals can use these resources to protect their workers, improve patient safety and reduce costs.

Hospital workers face serious hazards, including: lifting and moving patients, workplace violence, slips and falls, exposure to chemicals and hazardous drugs, exposures to infectious diseases and needlesticks. In 2012, U.S. hospitals recorded 250,000 work-related injuries and illnesses, almost 60,000 of which caused employees to miss work. The rate of work-related injuries is almost twice the rate for private industry.  Nationwide, workers' compensation losses result in a total annual expense of $2 billion for hospitals.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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