The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. Because there is some confusion with OSHA's jurisdiction and specific laws and regulations, we put together this brief list of 5 OSHA Tips for you and your organization:
1. OSHA is concerned only with employee safety and health.
Most of us know that OSHA is concerned with employee safety and health; but, did you know OSHA does not have jurisdiction over patient safety and health? OSHA is concerned with ensuring employees have a safe workplace and require employers to provide appropriate safety and health measures.
2. The importance of your organization's OSHA Hazard Risk Assessment.
An OSHA Hazard Risk Assessment (HRA) is important for several reasons, arguably the most important being to identify hazards that are likely in the workplace and the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely handle these hazards. This PPE must be provided by your office and its use must be required for all employees when performing "at risk" tasks. Employees must be advised of the hazards and the tasks that necessitate the use of specific PPE. Our HRA is helpful in the sense that it is required by law under OSHA to be performed and should be reviewed as often as necessary, and OSHA auditors will ask for this information when performing an inspection.
3. OSHA's Updated Recordkeeping Rule.
All employers under OSHA jurisdiction must report all work-related fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye to OSHA, even employers who are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records due to company size or industry. Organizations located in states that operate their own safety and health programs should check with their state plan for the implementation date of the new requirements. In our forms section we have a document titled OSHA's Updated Recordkeeping Rule and many other important forms including a sample Accident Investigation and Incident Report, Bloodborne Exposure Incident Reports, and so much more.
4. Bloodborne Pathogens training is important for All of your employees.
But what about non-clinical employees who work in a business office? Our answer to this is yes. Why? OSHA requires initial and annual training on all standards relating to healthcare. Under OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard, employers having employees with exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) and employees who may reasonably have exposure to blood or OPIM must train these employees annually regardless of the employees' prior training or education. As a best practice, we recommend all employees, including non-clinical employees who may reasonably have exposure to blood or OPIM, to complete OSHA training on an annual basis. It's better to err on the side of caution.
5. Training should be completed at time of hire, and annually thereafter.
This is a requirement that not everyone understands or agrees upon. However, initial OSHA training does need to be provided to all new employees; when necessary to all employees whose job related duties change; and an annual refresher OSHA training should be completed by all employees.
If you have any questions regarding these tips or have any questions about any OSHA laws and regulations, please feel free to comment below, or send us an email at [email protected],or reach us by phone toll-free at 855-427-0427.