OSHA Targets Inpatient Health Care and Nursing Homes for Enforcement Actions

Bloomberg BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter

Valerie Butera, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, wrote “OSHA Targets Inpatient Health Care and Nursing Homes for Enforcement Actions” for Bloomberg BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter. The article discusses new safety guidelines work place inspectors will use when reviewing patient-handling hazards at health care facilities.

Following is an excerpt:

The guidance memo requires both federal OSHA regional offices and state plans to evaluate the number of work-related injuries and illnesses at inpatient health care and nursing home facilities in their areas and to target those facilities for inspections (45 OSHR 673, 7/2/15). Compliance officers are instructed to focus on five major hazards:

  • musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) relating to patient or resident handling,
  • workplace violence,
  • bloodborne pathogens,
  • tuberculosis and
  • slips, trips and falls.

OSHA reminded compliance officers that they can and should expand the scope of the inspection when additional hazards come to their attention during the inspection, including, but not limited to, exposure to multi-drug resistant organisms, such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and exposures to hazardous chemicals, such as sanitizers, disinfectants, anesthetic gases and hazardous drugs.