It's imperative that doctors' offices and hospitals know how to deal with dangerous substances and biohazardous waste as well as react in dangerous situations. It's so important that the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) has laid out legal regulations and rules related to issues such as bloodborne pathogens, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act (HIPAA) compliance, hazard communication (hazcom) plans, and more. OSHA requires ongoing training in these categories, and not being up to date on this not only puts your facility in financial risk of fines, but it puts your employees and those you serve at risk of becoming hurt or ill.
What Does Yearly OSHA Training for Doctor Offices and Hospitals Entail?
OSHA training for medical facilities covers a variety of topics that help ensure workplace safety.
Blood-borne pathogens OSHA training
This OSHA BBP training relates to how to inform your employees about blood-borne pathogens and what they need to do to keep themselves and patients safe. This includes proper sharps disposal, correctly dealing with red bag waste, and more. Blood-borne pathogens are diseases or viruses transmitted by blood such as HIV and hepatitis.
HIPAA compliance for Doctor Offices and Hospitals
This act is most associated with keeping patients' medical records safe and secure. This is a vital part of the medical industry, and it is imperative employees are knowledgeable about HIPAA and current with any changes or updates to policy.
Hazard communication program
Hazard communication (or "hazcom") refers to communicating to your employees the proper handling and treatment of hazardous chemicals and materials. It also involves properly labeling these items to ensure all workers who come in contact with them know what they are handling.
Safety and Emergency Plans
One largely important part of OSHA training for Hospitals and Doctor Offices is ensuring your facility can respond to emergencies in a timely, safe way. It involves having safety plans, fire plans, exposure plans, and other safety-related plans on hand. It's as broad as ensuring the accuracy of evacuation routes and as specific as making sure fire extinguishers are in the correct places.
How Often Is Training for OSHA Required?
Generally, OSHA compliance trainings must occur every year, but some aspects of OSHA compliance are ongoing. This includes always updating your safety data sheets (SDSs) whenever a new chemical is introduced into the work environment.
Where Can My Facility Get Help?
Needless to say, all these regulations and rules can be very confusing—especially if you've never encountered them before. These regulations also regularly change and update, so it's difficult to even stay up to date. However, you don't have to struggle through or guess. When the stakes are high and mistakes can result in real consequences, it's best to seek out professional help with your OSHA compliance training for doctor offices and hospitals.
Many medical waste management companies offer these trainings as one aspect of their businesses. This allows employees the option to do trainings online, which results in printable certificates upon completion. Online trainings offer flexibility and convenience. (There's no risk of having to come in on a Saturday or after a long shift to complete training.) Online trainings allow employees to do the work on their own time, and this often results in being in compliance faster. This means you're less susceptible to financial penalties or putting your employees or patients at risk.
As a doctor's office or hospital, just be aware of what fees you are accountable for. If your waste management company rolls OSHA compliance into a monthly service, you'll be paying for it whether you want it or not. Therefore, consider choosing a company that allows you to pay for this training in the best way for you—either in a recurring or one-off yearly or monthly fee.
For more information about the importance of OSHA compliance training and how best to keep your facility up to date, please contact a representative of Medical Waste Services, LLC, a Midwest-based company that provides a variety of OSHA education and training.