The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced a new and stricter enforcement policy for the healthcare industry, promising to crack down on the most common hazards in hospitals, nursing homes, and residential care facilities.  The new federal enforcement policy, which OSHA expects states to adopt, as well, requires that OSHA inspections in these healthcare facilities focus on at least five major hazard areas.

The policy warns those in the healthcare industry of its intent to increase enforcement.  In April, OSHA issued revised guidelines for preventing workplace violence against workers in the healthcare and social service fields.  The agency states that it is responding to “some of the highest rates of injury and illness” for these workplaces when compared with industries tracked nationwide.

The new enforcement policy promises that OSHA will monitor closely compliance with health and safety rules relating to:

  • Safe patient handling,
  • Workplace violence,
  • Bloodborne pathogens,
  • Tuberculosis, and
  • Slips, trips, and falls

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