OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The mission of OSHA is to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.
OSHA is committed to strong, fair, and effective enforcement of safety and health requirements in the workplace.
OSHA inspectors, called compliance safety and health officers, are experienced, well-trained industrial hygienists and safety professionals whose goal is to assure compliance with OSHA requirements and help employers and workers reduce on-the-job hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace.
What are The Purpose and Functions of OSHA?
OSHA’s purpose and functions are specifically tailored to address the unique safety and health hazards faced by workers in the healthcare industry.
Some of the key aspects of OSHA’s role in healthcare include:
- Identifying and addressing specific hazards
- Providing resources for compliance and prevention
- Collaborating with healthcare professionals
- Promoting safety and health management systems
- Enforcing compliance
- Collaborating with state agencies
What are the common hazards in healthcare workplaces that OSHA regulates?
OSHA regulates a variety of hazards in healthcare workplaces. Some of the common hazards include:
- Bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards: Healthcare workers may be exposed to infectious diseases through contact with blood or other bodily fluids. OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard requires employers to protect workers from these hazards
- Chemical and drug exposures: Healthcare workers may be exposed to hazardous chemicals and drugs, such as sterilants and antineoplastic drugs. OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard requires employers to provide information and training on these hazards
- Physical hazards: Healthcare workers may be exposed to physical hazards, such as radiation, ergonomic hazards from lifting and repetitive tasks, and workplace violence. OSHA has developed standards and guidelines to address these hazards
- Laboratory hazards: Healthcare workers who work in laboratories may be exposed to a variety of hazards, such as chemical and biological agents, radiation, and physical hazards. OSHA’s Laboratory Standard requires employers to protect workers from these hazards
- Radiation hazards: Healthcare workers who work with radioactive materials or x-rays may be exposed to radiation hazards. OSHA’s Ionizing Radiation Standard requires employers to protect workers from these hazards
- Other hazards: Healthcare workers may also be exposed to hazards such as latex allergies, waste anesthetic gas exposures, and slips, trips, and falls. OSHA has developed resources and guidelines to address these hazards
OSHA’s Main Functions Include:
- Providing training, outreach, education, and assistance: OSHA offers various resources and programs to help employers and workers understand and comply with workplace safety and health regulations. This includes training courses, educational materials, and consultation services.
- Monitoring and inspecting workplaces: OSHA conducts inspections of workplaces to ensure that employers are complying with safety and health regulations. Inspections can be scheduled or unannounced, and OSHA has the authority to issue citations and penalties for violations of the standards.
- Investigating complaints and whistleblower protection: OSHA investigates complaints from workers regarding unsafe or unhealthy working conditions and provides protection for whistleblowers who report violations of workplace safety and health regulations.
OSHA provides various resources for healthcare providers to help them comply with workplace safety and health regulations. Here are some of the resources available:
- Provides a comprehensive list of safety and health topics and guides for various industries and occupations, including healthcare.
- Covers common occupational injuries and diseases like work-related allergies, stress, H1N1 influenza, MRSA, and SARS.
CDC Workplace Health Resource Center:
- Offers employers resources to establish a healthy work environment.
- Includes information on workplace health promotion, population health outcomes, and strategies for preventing workplace heart disease and stroke.
Overall, healthcare providers have access to a range of resources and training options to help them comply with workplace safety and health regulations and prevent hazards in the workplace.
American Healthcare Compliance offers OSHA courses designed exclusively for healthcare workers.
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What you will learn in the course:
- Exposure Control Plan (ECP)
- OSHA Standards for Bloodborne Pathogens
- Needle-Stick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA)
- Biomedical Waste Management Protocols
- OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)
- Chemical Inventory Guidelines
- OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)
- Workplace Emergency Protocols
- Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP)
To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please contact us at American Healthcare Compliance