OSHA Compliance: It’s More Than Just Worker Safety

By Richard Best  Organizations across all industries are required to follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations in order to support a safe and healthful workplace. For healthcare facilities, compliance efforts span everything from safeguarding environmental conditions to preventing hazardous materials exposure to ensuring ergonomically correct procedures. Although OSHA focuses on preserving worker … Continued

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Drug Diversion: Partially Filled Vials and Syringes in Sharps Containers Are Key Source of Problems

Partially Filled Vials and Syringes in Sharps Containers Are Key Sources of Problems By the Institute for Safe Medication Practices A 36-year-old hospital care aide (nursing assistant) who had been diverting discarded drugs died after self-administering what she likely thought might be an opioid but was actually a neuromuscular blocking agent (Fayerman, 2016a-c). The aide … Continued

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Putting New Strategies in Place to Decrease Workplace Violence

By Megan Headley

Incidences of workplace violence remain too high for the healthcare industry, despite increased attention on this issue. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that from 2002 to 2013 incidents of serious workplace violence were, on average, four times more common in healthcare than in private industry. In fact, data indicates that healthcare accounts for nearly as many serious violent injuries as all other industries combined.

“Too many healthcare workers face threats and physical violence on the job while caring for our loved ones,” commented the current assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, Dr. David Michaels, in a December 2015 news release on this topic. “It is not right that these valuable workers continue to be injured and sometimes killed on the job. Most of these injuries are preventable and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is providing … resources to help combat these incidents and raise awareness that violence does not need to be part of the job.”

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Minnesota State Coalition Works to Prevent Violence Against Healthcare Workers

By Rachel Jokela, RRT, RCP; Diane Rydrych, MA; Tania Daniels, PT, MBA; and Rahul Koranne, MD, MBA, FACP.


Injury data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that doctors, nurses, and mental health workers are more likely than other workers to be assaulted on the job. Nationally in 2013, one in five healthcare and social assistance workers reported nonfatal occupational injuries, the highest number of such injuries reported for any industry (Gomaa et al., 2015). While similar data is not available by state, in Minnesota in 2013, 16.7 per 10,000 healthcare employees missed work due to injuries caused intentionally by others (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013), nearly six times the overall U.S. rate for all industries. Despite these numbers, many incidents that do not cause missed work may go unreported in healthcare. Healthcare providers may choose not to report incidents out of compassion for residents or patients, or they may mistakenly believe that tolerating threats or physical violence from those they care for is just “part of the job.” 

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The Safety Culture Issue

The following is a guest article by Dan Scungio, MT (ASCP), SLS, a Laboratory Safety Officer for Sentara Healthcare, a multi-hospital system in the Tidewater region of Virginia. Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on HCPro’s OSHA Healthcare Advisor. On which side of the aisle do you stand on the subject of change? Things change … Continued

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ANA Sets ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy for Workplace Violence, Bullying

The nursing profession “will no longer tolerate violence of any kind from any source,” the American Nurses Association (ANA) declared in a new position statement on violence in health care workplaces released in August.  “Taking this clear and strong position is critical to ensure the safety of patients, nurses and other healthcare workers,” said ANA … Continued

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Learning About Safety from Other Industries

Healthcare sometimes looks to other industries to identify safety practices that are applicable to the mission of reducing adverse events and enhancing patient safety. Aviation has been popular in this regard. Far less often mentioned is the construction industry, which shares with healthcare the operation of a relatively dangerous enterprise. While construction usually does not have on-site customers, each person’s activities can present ample risk to others. Fellow workers are in a situation analogous to patients in that they rely on other people to keep them safe. Despite this, I had not given construction much thought from the healthcare safety perspective (falling cranes in New York City not withstanding) until I was recently in Brooklyn and saw a sign at the entrance to a construction site that read “Have you done your pre-task plan today?”

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