The healthcare industry is a crucial aspect of society because it is responsible for the health and well-being of individuals. Healthcare professionals provide essential services such as diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, preventive care, and health education. Of course, the healthcare industry uses facilities where they can operate and provide the necessary services. These facilities also cannot just appear out of nowhere because they must follow OSHA "guidelines" for medical practices known as OSHA standards.
What is OSHA in Healthcare?
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) sets and enforces standards to protect workers from accidents, illnesses, and other hazards. OSHA standards cover various topics, including hazard communication programs, electrical safety, machine guarding, and fire protection.
OSHA standards for medical practices are vital because they provide patients and healthcare professionals with a safe and healthy environment. However, few people know how OSHA standards work for medical practices, so we will discuss them in this article.
OSHA Checklist for Medical Offices and Facilities Standards
#1 - The Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
The BBP safeguards against diseases that are transmittable through blood and other bodily fluids. Employers need to make sure they have a plan to protect people from getting injuries or illnesses at work. They need to know what to do if someone gets hurt or sick, how to get rid of waste, and how to keep track of the plan.
Training should be provided to personnel who work with blood or similar infectious substances. We need to make sure everyone is safe when working with sharp objects like scalpels, needles, and broken glass. We need to use the right equipment and learn how to stay safe.
#2 - The Personal Protective Equipment Standard
Employers must ensure employees have access to the necessary PPE to protect them from exposure. This includes face masks, shields, protective gloves, gowns, and aprons. The equipment should be quality, maintained, and properly fitted to the individual to ensure maximum protection.
There should be mandatory employee training on how to use special safety gear, like masks and gloves, when they have to do dangerous tasks. They should also know how to take care of the safety gear and how to throw it away when they are done.
#3 - Safe Patient Handling
Patient handling is a significant part of healthcare workers and can be a source of injury for patients if done incorrectly. Healthcare workers sometimes hurt their bodies when they help people. They can get hurt from lifting, moving, or helping other people.
To reduce injury, healthcare facilities should use patient handling equipment to help prevent patient falls, bruises, and skin tears. An OSHA self-assessment checklist can be used to evaluate and identify areas that need improvement to make patient handling safer.
#4 - The Ionizing Radiation Standard
If a place has machines that use radiation, like x-ray machines, they need to use special safety measures to make sure everyone is safe. All equipment should be clearly labeled, so everyone knows to exercise caution.
People who work with radiation need special equipment to help keep them safe. They wear shields and special clothes to protect them and they have special tools to measure how much radiation they are exposed to.
#5 - The Electrical Standard
OSHA has a rule to make sure people stay safe when they are working with things that can catch fire. Additionally, specific wiring and equipment must be used to ensure safety when working with flammable gases.
#6 - The Emergency Action Plan Standard
The Emergency Action Plan outlines the steps staff must take to guarantee safety in any unexpected event, such as a fire or other emergency. For example, if a fire is detected, the plan should outline how to evacuate the building, notify the fire department, and contain the fire. Additionally, the plan should guide how to respond to other emergencies, such as chemical spills, electrical outages, or natural disasters.
#7 - Exit Routes Standard
Healthcare facilities must adhere to the regulations set by OSHA for the safety of their personnel and guests. This involves ensuring the design and structure of all exit routes are suitable, that they are kept in good condition, and that operational instructions are put in place. This will ensure everyone can escape quickly and safely in an emergency.
The OSHA standards for medical offices and facilities ensure that these important medical establishments are safe for employees and visitors. While following these standards will take work, it is worth it. Your facility will be safe from potential hazards, not to mention the risk of government intervention. For more safety and health topics, check out our insights page.
United Medical Waste Management provides top-quality services for OSHA compliance training. Health care facilities must always adhere to OSHA regulations, so we offer comprehensive training solutions to ensure your facility operates without issues. Reach out today via our contact form and allow us to help you!