OSHA Launches New Website Worker Safety in Hospitals – Caring for our Caregivers

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On January 15th, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) announced that OSHA has launched a new website Worker Safety in Hospitals – Caring for our Caregivers to protect hospital workers and enhance patient safety:http://www.osha.gov/hospitals. The website’s fact books, self-assessments and best practice guides are intended to help hospitals prevent worker injuries, assess workplace safety needs, enhance safe patient handling programs, and implement safety and health management systems.

The USDOL news release notes that work at hospitals can involve significant work-related “hazards” from activities such as lifting and moving patients, slips and falls, and various exposures to chemicals, hazardous drugs and infectious diseases. The USDOL reports that, in 2012, U.S. hospitals recorded 250,000 work-related injuries and illnesses, almost 60,000 of which caused employees to miss work. Nationally, workers’ compensation losses reportedly resulted in a total annual expense of $2 billion for hospitals. The website itself provides 2011 statistics which indicate that the rate of injuries for hospital workers (6.8 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees) was almost twice the rate for private industry as a whole.

We thought you might be interested to know about this online resource. If you have any questions about any risk management or employment-related issue, please do not hesitate to contact Rob Lanney or Jeanine Poole at (603) 224-2341.

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