NEWSWATCH
HEALTHCARE
OSHA to Focus on MSDs during Healthcare Facility Inspections
OSHA guidance released in late June adds musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) related to patient handling; bloodborne pathogens; workplace violence; tuberculosis; and slips, trips and falls as “focus hazards” for agency inspections conducted in inpatient healthcare settings. Healthcare workers are consistently exposed to these hazards, as revealed in Bureau of Labor Statistics data and OSHA’s inspection history, including its recently concluded national emphasis program. OSHA compliance officers will address these focus hazards in addition to hazards that are the subject of an inspection or hazards that are discovered during an inspection. OSHA lists exposure to multi-drug resistant organisms and exposure to hazardous chemicals such as disinfectants, hazardous drugs, and anesthetic gases as other hazards that may be present in inpatient healthcare settings. The guidance applies to all federal OSHA inspections of hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities. The memo to agency staff notes that State Plans must also follow the new guidance. See the memo on OSHA’s website.
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