OSHA health care inspections to focus on MSD, bloodborne hazards
Washington – OSHA will focus hospital and nursing facility inspections on hazards that contribute to the industry’s high injury rate, a June 25 agency memorandum states.
Worker injury rates at nursing and residential care facilities are more than twice that of the overall private industry, and hospital workers face a rate nearly as high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To address these injuries, the OSHA memo directs compliance officers to target the following hazards during all inspections at hospitals and nursing facilities:
- Musculoskeletal disorders related to patient handling
- Workplace violence
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Slips, trips and falls
OSHA compliance officers also will focus on the hazards that prompt the inspections. The memo states that the scope of the inspection could be expanded if other hazards are encountered, including worker exposures to multi-drug resistant organisms and hazardous chemicals.
“Workers in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have work injury and illness rates that are among the highest in the country, and virtually all of these injuries and illnesses are preventable,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said in a press release. “It's time for hospitals and the health care industry to make the changes necessary to protect their workers.”