The news of a potential inspection from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at your healthcare facility can give you some nervous moments.
During a visit, an OSHA inspector will evaluate the safety conditions at your facility and try to detect possible violations that may result in significant financial penalties or other punitive measures.
Most hospitals or other healthcare facilities feel the stress during the inspection, and it may even disrupt the day’s activities. However, if your healthcare organization and staff do the basics right, including maintaining the relevant documents and policy implementation, then you can come through the inspection unscathed.
OSHA inspections happen without prior notice. So, it is ideal for the staff to know what to expect during the inspection and make sure to follow all the safety protocols.
Your healthcare facility, employees, and ancillary staff must be ready. Although OSHA regularly schedules inspections at health facilities, these surprise visits are industry norms, and you can prepare for them in advance.
One of the positive sides of an unscheduled OSHA inspection is it may focus on one or two areas of your work environment, or may be more. It is better not to take chances.
On the top of the list of compliance issues at a healthcare facility, OSHA inspectors review compliance with guidelines relevant to medical waste segmentation and biohazardous waste disposal, pharmaceutical waste, infectious waste disposal, and more.
You can prevent possible penalties by following the routine regulations to stay compliant. The inspector will move around your facility and check everything carefully that relates to worker safety. This may include:
To make the inspection successful, properly maintain all your OSHA-related documents & policies. Here are the things your health facility needs to do:
Your health facility should maintain a sheet that will contain the safety procedures. The sheet should be easily accessible to your staff all the time. The content of the sheet will guide your employees about handling, storing, transporting, and the safe procedure to dispose of medical waste.
Your healthcare organization has to maintain an OSHA log that will list all the possible serious work-related injuries and illnesses.
It is a critical contingency plan that every healthcare facility in the US should devise. The plan provides details about the risks healthcare workers might face if exposed to bloodborne pathogens and how to prevent them from spreading further.
Your healthcare facility should maintain a master list of hazardous chemicals used there. This list should comprise how to communicate to the employees regarding the possible health risks of these chemicals and label them appropriately.
It is a strategy or program to protect the patients and staff of your healthcare facility from airborne contaminants causing respiratory problems.
This program must outline a strategy for your facility using N95 respirators to protect the people at the site. Besides, this program should provide medical clearance to employees wearing N95s, fit testing, and annual training.
Make sure to keep all training documents in place, along with training logs. The documents should have all the details on trainings conducted regarding workplace safety and how to minimize the risks of illnesses and injuries. OSHA mandates all the relevant training and is strict about maintaining the documents.
Make sure employees are prepared to answer any question an inspector asks
The OSHA inspector will spend time observing workflow at the facility and ask several employees about the work environment and safety protocols. The employees should be aware of OSHA regulations and should be able to answer any question.
The inspection may walk through your facility from time to time during his/her stay to detect OSHA compliance issues and shortfalls.
Complying with all the OSHA regulations can be challenging for healthcare organizations. The good news is your healthcare facility can fulfill all the OSHA requirements by hiring a reputable medical waste management company. This way, your organization need not take any hassle regarding adhering to the compliance issues.
Consulting a medical waste disposal company will help your staff understand OSHAA policies with comprehensive training. The company can make the OSHA training materials available online and update them periodically.
Also, a medical waste management company can facilitate on-site training on OSHA regulations by aligning its in-house experts.
To have reliable and timely information regarding OSHA compliance on medical waste management, you can consult DMI Solutions.
Besides safely disposing of medical waste, our team of experts imparts compliance training at healthcare facilities.
Get more information by calling us at +1 800-455-7747. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will assist you right away.
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