A recent NIOSH study examined the reported incidence of needlestick injuries at a US nationwide pharmacy chain and revealed a few valuable conclusions. From 2000 to 2011 there were 33 needlestick injuries reported by 31 different pharmacy locations. Of these 33 injuries, 24 (73%) occurred from September through January, the period during which flu vaccinations are commonly administered.
Overall incidence of needlestick injuries was low, with annual incidence of needlestick injuries at these pharmacies ranging from 0 to 3.62 per 100,000 vaccinations. Injuries were most likely to occur after needle use and before disposal (58% of reported incidents). Additionally, researchers warned that needlestick injuries are often underreported.
The researchers believe that many if not all of the needlestick injuries they reviewed were likely preventable. Their recommendations included better tracking of injuries and following needlestick prevention guidelines. Vaccination providers can hopefully learn from the observations made in this study and develop necessary safety precautions during this flu vaccination season.
At Intelex, we believe that knowing when an injury is most likely to occur is an excellent step towards preventing it. Reporting on workplace injuries is a good starting point, but the data collected should be used to encourage continuous improvement in corporate safety practices.
Many businesses across the U.S. are well-acquainted with OSHA Form 300 logs, reports generated on a monthly (300) and annual (300A) basis that list all work-related injuries and illnesses.
While hundreds of thousands of businesses are currently bound to report, there is a long list of industries that have been exempt from reporting.
But all that is poised to change.
If a proposed rulemaking becomes law, many previously exempt industries will be required to report workplace injuries and illnesses in accordance with Form 300 and 300A requirements. Dozens of industries (including bakeries, automotive dealers, performing arts companies, and many more) would be affected by the expanded regulation. That said, some organizations that have previously been required to report may not have to. Check out the highly useful OSHA Law Blog for a complete list.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is planning changes that would affect how businesses track and report on workplace injuries.
The proposed revisions to injury and illness recordkeeping rules would require employers to report work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations within eight hours of occurrence, and all work-related amputations within 24 hours. Reporting amputations is not required under the existing regulation.
Also, the rule would update the section of OSHA’s recordkeeping rule that list industries exempt from injury and illness reporting requirements. Currently, some industries aren’t required to report due to their relatively low injury and illness rates. However, these industries are currently classified under the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system, not the more widely used North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The proposed rule would update the list to reflect NAICS classification, as well as more current Injury and Illness rates and, as a result, some industries formerly exempt from injury and illness reporting requirements might have to report when the rule is issued, including liquor stores, bakeries, auto parts stores, and more. In fact, OSHA estimates nearly 200,000 establishments will be affected by the changes.
However, these rules are by no means set in stone. The public has until September 20, 2011 to provide feedback. Head to regulations.gov to find the proposed rule and submit comments.
In the meantime, if you are not currently tracking and reporting on injury and illness data electronically, now is the time to start. A streamlined solution will significantly ease the burden of reporting in a timely, accurate and legally compliant manner, and make adjusting to these changes much easier.