On July 27, AIHA (formerly the American Industrial Hygiene Association) revealed concerns about the federal COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) in a 13-page letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). AIHA urged the agency to closely examine and immediately revise the emergency rule’s provisions dealing with ventilation, physical barriers, and transmission by inhalation […]
In March, OSHA issued its Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The updates extend existing OSHA protections for workplace safety whistleblowers, explicitly stating those protections apply to those who report COVID-19 related violations at the workplace by creating a National Emphasis Program (NEP). Higher Risk Industries In addition, the memo also classifies […]
The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought a renewed focus on personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus—referred to as 2019-nCOV or SARS-CoV-2—first identified in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019.
In February 2019, the EPA issued a final rule establishing a new set of regulations for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals generated by healthcare facilities. There were several rationales behind the rule. For example, in contrast to staff at industrial facilities, healthcare personnel (e.g., doctors and nurses) are rarely trained to make hazardous waste […]
An OSHA standard to mitigate workplace violence in healthcare facilities does not appear to be on the horizon, but this is not because OSHA is not aware of the main provisions that would be included in such a standard. In fact, it is not uncommon for OSHA to issue citations against healthcare employers whose employees […]
Why the fuss about bacteria and booze? Well, there’s a potentially serious EHS concern blossoming for healthcare facilities as certain forms of bacteria are becoming more tolerant of the alcohol used in popular hand sanitizers.
As have other organizations that advocate for healthcare workers, the Joint Commission is strongly urging healthcare organizations to take a comprehensive look at the occurrence of violence against their employees and take steps toward implementing protections that “look beyond solutions that only increase scrutiny.”