Healthcare workers in the United States have high rates of illnesses and nonfatal injuries. On a typical day, healthcare workers face exposure to risks such as a back injury, needlestick, latex allergy, exposure to bloodborne pathogens, violence, and stress. The risk is not limited to doctors and nurses either. Direct support professionals, orderlies, nursing aides, attendants, and equipment maintenance employees also face injury and illness. It is unfeasible to eliminate all risks associated with working in the healthcare industry; however, there are some safety measures you and your staff can take to create a safer workplace.
The possibility of infection from bacterial and viral infections transmitted through blood and other body fluids is high in healthcare. All healthcare workers must take the required precautions that include wearing protective gear such as goggles, latex gloves, gowns, and face shields, whenever necessary.
Exposure to Infection-causing micro-organisms is another concern in medical facilities. Management of these contamination threats includes proper hand and instrument hygiene. It involves the use of antiseptics and disinfectant on the skin before surgical procedures and the cleaning and decontamination of instruments to help fight infection. Workers must receive immunization against hepatitis B and C and other bloodborne or airborne pathogens.
Healthcare facilities are full of sharp objects. Contaminated scalpels, needles, and other sharp objects pose a threat to health care staff who come in frequent contact with these items. To help keep your team from getting stuck by a sharp object, it is vital that you follow an appropriate disposal system for all sharps and infectious waste. Dispose of syringes at the point of use in a safety box. Do not recap needles. Try to use blunt suture needles and scalpel blades with rounded tips. Use a qualified medical waste management company’s services to provide you with proper containers and dispose of your waste properly to keep employees safe while remaining compliant.
Reduce the Risk of Injuries
Unfortunately, musculoskeletal injuries are a common risk in health care settings. Injuries that affect bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and joints are frequent consequences of lifting and transferring patients between wheelchairs, beds, toilets, and exam tables. Take measures to keep your healthcare team safe by using assistive devices such as slings, slip sheets, and electronic hoists.
Chemical Hazard Safety
There are chemicals used in healthcare, such as mercury, bisphenol A, and triclosan, that can seriously harm your staff members. Your medical facility must train employees on handling hazardous substances safely. Furthermore, healthcare professionals must wear gloves and personal protective equipment while handling these dangerous chemicals.
Your healthcare facility is at high risk for a fire. Flammable gas, oxygen, methane, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, plastic masks, antiseptic agents, and cloth drapes are all combustible materials. Your facility should have fire policies in place, and employees must receive training in fire safety and how to take the proper precautions in the event of a fire at your facility.
If you are seeking a workforce solution for your healthcare organization, look no further than Arbor Associates. The staffing professionals at Arbor Associates can provide numerous staffing options to address your healthcare organization’s unique needs.