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OSHA Targets Safety Concerns for Nursing Home Staffers

Posted on Jan 08, 2013

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a new National Emphasis Program for Nursing and Residential Care Facilities. Through this program, OSHA will target nursing homes and residential care facilities with the goal of reducing occupational illnesses and injuries.

Nursing and residential care facilities experience one of the highest rates of lost workdays due to injuries and illnesses, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2010, the rate for lost workdays due to injuries and illnesses was 2.3 times higher than the rate for other private industries. Many of these injuries were due to overexertion and to slips, trips, and falls. Injuries in these two categories accounted for 62.5 percent of the days missed from work in 2010.

Health care workers face many serious safety and health hazards. These hazards include: exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material; exposure to communicable diseases; ergonomic stressors related to lifting patients; workplace violence; slips, trips, and falls; and exposure to hazardous chemicals and drugs. This new program will provide OSHA’s compliance staff with guidance on policies and procedures for targeting and conducting inspections specifically focused on the hazards associated with nursing and residential care.

As the federal agency charged with setting and enforcing workplace safety standards, OSHA regularly develops national emphasis programs to focus outreach efforts and inspections on specific hazards in an industry during a three-year period. If you would like to discuss a workplace injury with an Idaho workers’ comp attorney, contact Alan L. Morton of Morton Law Offices, Chartered. You may reach him by calling 888-716-8021 or by filling out an online form.

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