(2005, March) Professional Safety, 50(3), 25 Long-term ethylene oxide exposure trends in US hospitals: Relationship with OSHA regulatory and enforcement actions La Montagne, A. The main purpose of effective safety programs in organizations is to prevent work-related injuries and accidents.
The Envi ronment of Care standards for JCAHO requi re member hospi tals to conduct emergency preparedness dri l ls regularly.
The HR management impl ications of emergency preparedness are very signi ficant.
Some problems are chronic; others are transi tory, yet heal th concerns are inevi table and can affect organizational operations and individual employee productivi ty.
Key personal heal th issues for heal th care workers include substance abuse, emotional and mental problems, and alcohol or drug problems.
The standard requi res the development of plans that address safety, securi ty, hazardous materials and waste, emergency preparedness, l i fe safety, medical equipment, and uti l i ty systems, including regularly inspected back-up generators.
These plans promote a safe, secure environment when effectively shared wi th staff.As proven by the events of September 11, 2001, the importance of having competent, wel l -trained heal th care workers that have the abi l i ty and ski l ls to provide care in times of disaster has increased in importance (Grice, 2001).The American Hospi tal Association, in a member advisory released after the terrorist attacks of September 11, suggested the use of the fol lowing checkl ist in preparing for a disaster. The hospi tal should focus efforts on a general “al l hazards” plan that provides an adaptable framework for any crisis si tuation. The hospi tal should upgrade i ts disaster plan to include components for mass casual ty terrorism, including chemical or biological incidents. The hospi tal ’s plan should be integrated wi th the emergency response agencies in the local communi ty. The hospi tal should have a plan in place to support the fami l ies of staff members. Health is a broad, somewhat nebulous term that refers to a general state of physical , mental , and emotional wel l -being. Lecture and Research Update from Your Professors, Hyacinth Broderick-Scott, Ed. The terms heal th, safety, and securi ty are closely related.Protecting heal th care workers from patients is compounded by the need to protect patients from heal th care workers.Universal precautions protect workers and other patients by reducing the risk of cross-infection by assuming that every patient is HIV posi tive.In addi tion, heal th care workers may also face problems wi th indoor ai r qual i ty, latex al lergies, inadvertent needle sticks, and sl ips and fal ls, hazardous chemicals, cumulative trauma injuries, and blood-borne pathogens.AIDS also poses a unique problem for heal th service and heal th care organizations (HSOs/HCOs).Caustic and toxic chemicals in the laboratory and pharmacy, sl icing equipment in food services, radiation in radiology, ethylene oxide in supply processing, and infections in patient care areas are a few of the many hazards.The heal th services industry has recognized this danger, and the Joint Commission on Accredi tation of Heal thcare Organizations (JCAHO) has formulated standards for safety in HSOs/HCOs, including requi rements for mul tidiscipl inary commi ttees to identi fy and correct safety problems and educate employees on the importance of safety.