Submitted by: Greg Garner
OSHA or the Occupational Safety & Health Administration in Washington, D.C has specific requirements and procedures to follow in the event of a hazard in a medical facility. To allow staff to recognize these standards and procedures there are specific training classes that need to be taken concerning the categories of chemicals and how they are to be disposed cleaned up, reported and policies outlined.
Rules and Procedures
Minor chemical spills require that spill areas be evacuated immediately. This includes any chemicals required to clean up or take care of medical equipment. During clean up procedures prohibit general entry and contact your in house OSHA compliance officer.
Blood and or body fluids require the cleaning staff to wear personal protective equipment which includes eye protection and gloves. Use paper towels to soak up the spills and use a red biohazard bag as the waste receptacle. When the spill is absorbed and towels thrown away spray the area with strong disinfectant. Let the disinfectant soak for at least 15 minutes then wipe dry with paper towels. Discard these paper towels in red biohazards bags and throw away all gloves and paper gowns used in cleaning up. Thoroughly wash and disinfect your hands. Make a complete record of everything you have done in regards to clean up and send it to the proper OSHA compliance officer in the clinic.
Hazardous Communication Standards are applicable to certain drugs, chemical accidents as well as blood and human fluid spills. A hazardous chemical is described as any chemical that causes physical harm or is a health hazard. Blood and human fluid hazards come from broken vials, containers or the patient.
All employers need to develop maintain, and implement a workplace written hazard communication program for those who handle or are exposed to chemicals, drugs, and body fluids. This written program outlines how the criteria specified in the Communications Standards concerning labels and warnings, plus MSDS, employee information and training will be handled.
A list of all hazardous drugs present in the building will be listed using an identify number that matches the MSDS.
Methods used by an employer to inform employees of hazards in the workplace.
Written hazard communication program is available to employees and their designated representatives plus the Assistant Secretary of OSHA.
Communication Work Plan
Ensuring that everyone is informed of the policies and procedures of a hazardous waste problem, OSHA has mandated that a workplan be developed. The first step is to establish a chain of command and determine who carries out the safety and health program and how to report problems.
Supervisor and employee responsibilities and exact means of communication in case of a hazardous event.
The name of the person who supervises the hazardous waste operations.
The clinic site supervisor who has responsibility for developing the communication and compliance program.
All communication programs must have a complete list of tasks and objectives and the resources needed to take care of hazards. There needs to be written communication for anticipated clean-up, full definitions of work tasks and methods of carrying out these tasks. Communications channels and implementation for training, medical surveillance requirements and information seminars also need to be outlined. Communication in the event of a hazardous event must be in writing, sent to the proper division of OSHA, and posted in staff areas.
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