How to Implement Osha’s Checklist of Standards in Your Healthcare Facility
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities can be some of the most hazardous places to work. In order to mitigate risks and keep patients and employees safe, healthcare facilities need to implement specific Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and regulations.
The patient centered cleaning programs at ServiceMaster Clean® are based on these OSHA standards for healthcare, along with other regulatory requirements, so our experts created this guide to help increase awareness of proper cleaning standards for your facility. Keep reading for more information about important industry best practices and requirements.
Identify the OSHA Requirements That Apply to Your Facility
The OSHA checklist used at one healthcare facility may not be exactly the same as the checklist used at another. The reason is that specific OSHA requirements will vary depending on the activities that are being carried out and the materials and equipment that are being used in each specific healthcare setting.
The following OSHA standards for healthcare are some of the most common safety standards that are likely to apply to your facility:
Blood-borne Pathogens Standard
Hazard Communication Standard
Personal Protective Equipment Standard
Ionizing Radiation Standard
Medical and First Aid Standard
Fire Safety Standard
Emergency Action Plan Standard
Exit Routes Standards
Review all of OSHA’s standards and directives related to work environments in the healthcare industry to create a comprehensive list of all of the requirements that may apply to your facility. Depending on the services provided at your facility, you may need to address specific guidelines, like the standard for ergonomic hazards and respiratory protective equipment. The noise exposure standard may also apply to large facilities that receive helicopters.
Develop a Health and Safety Program Suited to Your Facility
Once you’ve identified the OSHA healthcare standards that are relevant for your facility, it’s time to develop and implement a proactive health and safety program. Such programs have been proven to reduce workplace hazards in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Refer to the following OSHA recommended practices to get started:
Set aside the resources required to implement and carry out the health and safety program.
Encourage all levels of management to make health and safety a top priority by setting goals and objectives and by providing adequate resources to employees.
Investigate all health and safety incidents to determine the root cause of the problem.
Implement procedures for continually identifying health and safety hazards.
Evaluate all control measures for effectiveness on a regular basis.
Establish procedures to monitor the effectiveness of your health and safety program.
Take any necessary actions to improve the program and mitigate health and safety risks.
Create a Comprehensive Employee Training Program
Workplace health and safety programs are only effective if employees understand their responsibilities. Since employee responsibilities vary, training programs need to be tailored based on position to be most effective:
Managers and supervisors must receive training on how to protect workers’ rights and how to respond to any health and safety concerns.
Workers need training to recognize hazards and utilize the proper control measures in response.
All employees need to be made aware of the process for reporting health and safety concerns. It is also highly recommended that every member of your staff receives training in basic cleaning protocols.
A well-trained staff is the main line of defense against health and safety hazards in healthcare settings, and the development of a proper training program requires an understanding of OSHA standards for healthcare.
Before hiring a janitorial company for your healthcare facility, make sure their procedures adhere to OSHA standards and other important regulatory requirements for the industry. Contact the professionals at ServiceMaster Clean to provide environmental cleaning services for your healthcare facility and ensure your workplace stays up-to-date with current OSHA cleaning regulations.