OSHA Requirements – Health Care Employers
Step 1: OSHA Requirements That Apply to Many Health Care Employers
The following are some of the key OSHA standards that apply to many health care employers:
1.Hazard Communication Standard. This standard is designed to ensure that employers and employees
know about hazardous chemicals in the workplace and how to protect themselves. Employers with
employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the workplace must prepare and implement a written Hazard Communication Program and comply with other requirements of the standard.
2.Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. OSHA issued this standard to protect employees from the health
hazards of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Employers are subject to OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens standard if they have employees whose jobs put them at reasonable risk of coming into contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. Employers subject to this standard must develop a written exposure control plan, provide training to exposed employees, and comply with other requirements of the standard.
3.Exit Routes Standards. All employers must comply with OSHA’s requirements for exit routes in the
4.Electrical Standards. Electrical hazards, such as wiring deficiencies, are one of the hazards most
frequently cited by OSHA. OSHA’s electrical standards include design requirements for electrical systems and safety-related work practices. If you use flammable gases, you may need special wiring and equipment installation.
5.Emergency Action Plan Standard. OSHA recommends that all employers have an Emergency Action
Plan. A plan is mandatory when required by an OSHA standard. An Emergency Action Plan describes the actions employees should take to ensure their safety in a fire or other emergency situation.
6.Fire Safety Standard. OSHA recommends that all employers have a Fire Prevention Plan. A plan is
mandatory when required by an OSHA standard.
7.Medical and First Aid Standard. OSHA requires employers to provide medical and first-aid personnel and supplies commensurate with the hazards of the workplace. The details of a workplace medical and first-aid program are dependent on the circumstances of each workplace and employer.
8.Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Employers must perform an assessment of each operation in
their workplace to determine if their employees are required to wear PPE. Note that engineering
controls and work practices are the preferred methods for protecting employees – OSHA generally
considers PPE to be the least desirable means of controlling employee exposure.
Step 2: Other Hazards at Health Care Facilities
1.Ergonomic hazards. Some of the major ergonomic stressors at health care facilities include lifting and repositioning patients and lifting materials.
2.Workplace violence. Health care workers face a significant risk of job-related violence.
3.Slips, Trips, and Falls. Slips, trips, and falls are among the leading causes of injuries in health care facilities.
Step 3: Survey Your Workplace for Additional Hazards
Survey your workplace for additional hazards and OSHA requirements – MAC Safety will provide an
assessment for your workplace, applicable OSHA standards, employee training, work-station set-up,
Step 4: Develop a Comprehensive Safety and Health Program
OSHA requires employers to develop comprehensive safety and health programs, development and
implementation of these programs is an effective way to comply with OSHA standards and prevent
workplace injuries and illnesses. The information you’ve obtained from the steps above is a good start for developing a comprehensive safety and health program.
To Your Business
If you could save money, improve productivity, and increase employee morale, would you?
Businesses spend $170 billion a year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses —
expenditures that come straight out of company profits. But workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can reduce their injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent. In today’s business environment, these costs can be the difference between operating in the black and running in the red.
Add value to your business
Injuries and illnesses increase workers’ compensation and retraining costs, absenteeism, and faulty
product. They also decrease productivity, morale, and profits. Businesses operate more efficiently when they implement effective safety and health management systems. A Fortune Five company increased productivity by 13 percent, while a small, 50-person plant decreased faulty product and saved more than $265,000 with a strong safety and health program.
To Your Workplace
Safe workplaces provide the consistency and reliability needed to build a community and grow a
business. Workplaces with active safety and health leadership have fewer injuries, are often rated
“better places to work,” and have more satisfied, more productive employees. These employees return
to work more quickly after an injury or illness and produce higher-quality products and services.
Each year, MAC Safety works with companies to help create better workplaces, providing assessments and help in implementing safety and health management systems.