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Welcome to the gateway for advancing the safety, health and prosperity of the Hoosier healthcare industry. In collaboration with Union Hospital, the Indiana Department of Labor has launched a statewide healthcare worker safety and health initiative. Learn more about this workplace safety and health initiative by watching the onsite media event and exploring this new webpage!
The February 5, 2013, onsite media launch event at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Indiana, on the Indiana Department of Labor's YouTube Channel by clicking here. Media Kit:
Why a develop an initiative for the healthcare industry? Nationally, the injury and illness rate for healthcare workers has been high while other industries have been successfully improving their health and safety records, and Indiana is no exception to this trend. In Indiana alone, there were more than 16,000 non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses reported in the Hoosier healthcare industry.
The healthcare and social assistance industry employs more than 350,000 Hoosier workers, making it the state’s second largest employer. Healthcare workers can be found in hospitals, clinics, dental offices, out-patient surgery centers, birthing centers as well as nursing homes and other assistance positions.
According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, the healthcare and social assistance industry now has the second highest injury and illness rate in Indiana. Over the years, the healthcare rate has remained high despite decreases in the injury rates in both manufacturing and construction, which have traditionally been considered industry categories with higher risk for worker injury and illness. In healthcare, an injury or illness leads to an average of five days away from work.
How are our healthcare workers becoming injured or ill on-the-job?
The Key to Workplace Safety and Health: Be Proactive!
A Hoosier healthcare organization that embraced safe patient handling to reduce employee exposure to hazards associated with manually lifting, moving and transporting patients and residents was Union Hospital, Inc. By embracing safe patient handling Union Hospital was able to cut injuries nearly in half. Read more about their efforts here.
More information about Union Hospital, Inc. may be found online at http://www.myunionhospital.org/Resources for Healthcare Worker Safety and Health
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Please feel free to download, customize and print any applicable worker safety and health sign below. All the signage is available in Microsoft Word format. Your organization is welcome to customize any signage to fit your location as needed. This safety signage was provided by Union Hospital.
Needle Stick Safety
Ergonomic Safety - Sitting
Ergonomic Safety - Standing
Ergonomic Safety - Wrist Position
Ergonomic Safety - Lighting
Ergonomic Safety - Workstation Position
Top 10 Causes for Incidents
Pulling a Patient up in Bed
Safe Lifting Practices
7 Deadly Sins of Lifting
Beware of Routines
Creating a safe and healthy working environment makes good business sense. Businesses which prioritize health and safety in the workplace are often rewarded with some of the following:
To succeed in developing and implementing a workplace safety and health management system, employers must place an emphasis on developing policies and procedures focused on incident prevention. This means creating an actively engaged safety and health management program. Core components of an effective system include: management commitment, active and meaningful employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control as well as providing occupational safety and health training for all levels of employees-managers, supervisors and front-line employees.
Working together, employers and employees in the healthcare industry can make an impact to reduce or eliminate many common health and safety hazards.
Specifically, what are some things employers can do to help?
Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and Indiana Code 22-8-1.1, Section 2, known as the General Duty Clause, requires employers to provide employees with a workplace that is free of recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
Workplace safety and health is as much the employee’s responsibility as it is the employer’s. To ensure a healthy and safe working environment, employees must follow all employer workplace safety and health policies and procedures. By working together, both employers and employees in the healthcare industry can make a real impact to reduce and eliminate many common occupational safety and health hazards.
What specifically can employees do to help ensure a safe and healthy workplace?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for healthcare facilities are addressed in specific standards for the general industry. Highlighted OSHA standards for healthcare facilities include:
The standards referenced above do not make up a comprehensive list. Additional OSHA standards may apply to your workplace. Be sure to review OSHA's general industry standards - 29 CFR 1910 for other requirements.
In addition, section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and Indiana Code 22-8-1.1, Section 2, known as the General Duty Clause, requires employers to provide employees with a workplace that is free of recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. A listing of federal OSHA's most frequently cited standards for healthcare is available by clicking here. Also, be sure to review the "Employer Resources" section at the bottom of this page for additional assistance and access to OSHA eTools, online tutorials, training, etc.
The Indiana Department of Labor's INSafe division provides free, confidential and onsite OSHA consultation to Hoosier employers. Employers who proactively contact INSafe will not receive citations or be penalized with fines for safety and health hazards identified by INSafe Safety and Health Consultants. Rather, INSafe Consultants proactively work with employers and employees to identify and correct these hazards. Requests for onsite OSHA consultation will not initiate an IOSHA inspection. INSafe will not make information from the consultation available to IOSHA, provided the employer agrees to correct all serious hazards identified during the INSafe consultation within reasonably-discussed correction due dates.
For more information about INSafe, please visit the division's website by clicking here. Employers may complete and submit a request for free onsite OSHA consultation online at www.in.gov/dol/insafeconsultation.
Other helpful websites, resources and online training tools may be found below.