OSHA Announces New Hazards for the Healthcare Industry

Last month, OSHA announced that agency investigators would increase their focus on a set of new key hazards for the healthcare industry during upcoming inspections. These hazards will aim to address musculoskeletal disorders related to patient or resident handling; blood borne pathogens; workplace violence; tuberculosis and slips, trips and falls.

To those in the healthcare industry, this announcement comes as no surprise. Workers in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have the highest work related injury and illness rates in the country. In 2013 alone, nearly 58,000 hospital workers reported a work related injury or illness, amounting to an incident rate almost twice as high as the rate for private industry overall. Close to half of these incidents reported relate to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused by overextension and other ergonomic stressors related to patient handling.

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