OSHA Safe Patient Handling Inspections

OSHA has previously issued guidance directed to the health care industry for safe patient handling procedures and now intends to enforce this guidance. With its recent announcement OSHA is indicating they will now inspect the facility’s patient and/or resident handling programs. They will be reviewing program management, program implementation, and employee training. Are you prepared?

The healthcare industry is growing rapidly and so are the risks associated with it. MEMIC can help you focus on the areas where injuries happen all too often. In most cases, patient/resident handling injuries are the leader. We partner with our clients to concentrate on sustainable policies and procedures to help reduce injuries. We offer (free of charge) and strongly encourage that our healthcare clients partner with us to conduct our Safe Patient/Resident Handling and Mobility workshop. This six hour didactic workshop includes patient handling challenges, ergonomic basics in the healthcare environment, and high risk tasks, developing solutions including discussion of patient handling equipment and providing assistance with establishing a safe patient handling task force and committee. Additional healthcare information can be found on our Resource Library page.

In addition, the Safety Director includes a safe patient handling policy template, program implementation timeline, bloodborne pathogens information, PowerPoint presentations, and videos (including quizzes to ensure comprehension), along with other resources such as recorded Workplace Violence webinars. Sign up here to ensure you don’t miss any of our workshops and webinars!

Did you know that a hospital is one of the most hazardous places to work? According to OSHA, in 2011 U.S. hospitals recorded 253,700 work-related injuries and illnesses, a rate of 6.8 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees. This is almost twice the rate for private industry as a whole. More information can be found in this OSHA resource Worker Safety in Hospitals.

In 2010, nursing homes and personal care facilities had one of the highest rates of injury and illness among industries for which lost workday injury and illness (LWDII) rates are calculated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing and personal care facilities experienced an average LWDII rate of 4.9 compared with 1.8 for private industry as a whole, despite the fact that feasible controls are available to address hazards within this industry. (Source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/nursinghome/index.html)

OSHA offers additional resources with an e-tool for Hospitals and an e-Tool Experts section that outlines applicable standards.