OSHA recently issued a new policy to establish guidelines for conducting OSHA inspections of inpatient health care facilities. In its announcement, OSHA cites to statistics indicating that the rate of OSHA-recordable injuries and illnesses in the health care sector are nearly double the rate for the private industry as a whole.
To complement its policy, and further establish its role in ensuring workplace safety, OSHA recently rolled out a new Worker Safety in Hospitals webpage. The webpage features information on common injuries and hazards within the health care industry, and OSHA's recommendations for addressing and reducing those injuries and hazards. See the website here.
Going forward, employers should be aware of OHSA’s role in the health care industry, its recommendations for improving workplace safety, and its intention to enforce those recommendations. Based on OSHA’s clear intention to increase its presence in the industry, employers would be prudent to confirm that their facilities, systems, and processes satisfy the applicable standards. The failure to do this now will likely result in citations when an OSHA inspector comes knocking.