How the Health Care Industry Needs to Prepare for Increased OSHA Scrutiny

floor scrubberHealth care employers, beware. OSHA is coming.

In response to studies that have shown the rate of workplace injuries to be disproportionately high among health care workers, Thomas Galassi, Director of the Directorate of Enforcement for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), announced the agency will begin to crack down on the health care industry.

On average, there are about 5.5 workplace injuries per 100 full-time workers in the U.S., or between 5 and 6%. The health care industry sees a shocking 20.7% of private industry nonfatal occupational injuries, representing the greatest proportion of injuries across all job sectors.

Given statistics like these, and especially given OSHA’s intentions to scrutinize health care employers for their worker safety practices, it’s vital for all health care employers to closely consult the agency’s newly-released Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers. Additionally, other preliminary steps will need to be taken to avoid a citation from OSHA in the coming months.

Will your health care workplace be prepared for OSHA’s plans to intensely increase its scrutiny of the health care industry? Make sure you follow OSHA’s requirements — and keep your personnel safe from injury — by doing these three things:

Be prepared for an inspection
To make sure your workplace is prepared for a surprise OSHA inspection at any time, be sure to consult Epstein Becker Green’s OSHA Inspection Checklist. Thoroughly educate all personnel on the proper safety protocol throughout your facility, as well.

Review OSHA’s health care standards
Additionally, thoroughly read over the Health Care section of OSHA’s website to ensure you’re up to date on all the agency’s industry-specific regulations. If your workplace doesn’t comply with these regulations, you will need to initiate compliance efforts immediately.

Get the right safety equipment
Lastly, investing in workplace safety equipment such as floor scrubbers and floor sweepers can help keep your facilities’ floors free of hazards and greatly reduce the number of slips, trips and falls that take place. When slips, trips and falls result in a stunning 95 million lost days of work each year, and account for 25% of all workplace injury claims, a simple floor scrubber can make all the difference.

Do you agree with OSHA upping its scrutiny of the health care industry to help keep workers safer? Have any other questions on how an industrial floor scrubber and sweeper can ensure fewer safety hazards in the workplace? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.