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OSHA releases web resource for hospital workers

OSHA worker safety

Washington – OSHA on Jan. 15 launched a web resource to help prevent injuries among hospital workers.

The resource provides fact books, self-assessments and best practices to assist hospitals in gauging the hazards their workers face and implementing solutions to keep workers safe, which OSHA said will benefit patients as well.

The materials are based on lessons from high-performing hospitals that have “embraced a culture of safety that benefits both patients and workers,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said during a press conference announcing the online program.

Hospital workers experienced 250,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2012, and workers’ compensation costs total $2 billion every year, according to OSHA. In addition to suffering musculoskeletal injuries from lifting and repositioning patients, hospital workers face risks that include chemical exposure; needlesticks; slips, trips and falls; and violent patients.

Michaels was joined at the press conference by NIOSH Director John Howard; Lucian Leape, chairman of the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation; and Erin S. DuPree, chief medical officer and vice president of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare.