OSHA is currently conducting surprise audits emphasizing the prevention of needlestick injuries. The initial focus is on ambulatory surgical centers and primary care medical facilities in the southeast portions of the United States, but the audits could expand to other geographical areas soon. OSHA regulations on needlestick injuries include:
- Reviewing and updating your Exposure Control Plan at least annually. The Plan must also identify and implement effective safer medical devices to help eliminate occupational exposures;
- With certain exceptions, employees should receive the Hepatitis B vaccination;
- Requiring gloves to be worn at all times that an employee may have hand contact with blood;
- Attaching warning labels to containers with blood or other potentially infectious material;
- Providing initial and thereafter annual employee training on dealing with occupational exposures; and
- Establishing and maintaining a sharp injury log.
To help prevent employee injuries and avoid OSHA penalties, review your practice’s safety procedures to ensure it includes these and other OSHA safety procedures.
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