June 8 2015
A new toolkit developed by regulators at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has just been released in an effort to:
- Provide hospital workers with better respiratory protections
- Protect these workers from airborne transmissible infectious disease, chemicals and drugs that may be present in hospital settings.
Known as the “Hospital Respiratory Protection Toolkit, this kit “was developed to assist hospitals in developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on preventing the transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases (ATDs) to healthcare personnel.”
A Closer Look at the New Toolkit
According to OSHA’s recent announcement regarding this new toolkit for hospitals, the toolkit covers:
- Respirator use
- Current public health guidance on respirator use when exposure to infectious diseases may be possible
- Hazard assessment
- How to develop hospital respiratory protection programs
- Other helpful resources and references.
Additionally, as a supplement to this hospital toolkit, OSHA has also provided an educational monograph – Implementing Hospital Respiratory Protection Programs: Strategies from the Field – to help healthcare facilities rollout these programs.
Commenting on this new OSHA and NIOSH hospital toolkit, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels has stated:
Hospitals are one of the most hazardous places to work…One of the ways that we can protect workers in a health care setting is by providing employers with the resources needed to ensure a safe workplace. This toolkit will help protect those workers who dedicate their lives to caring for others.
Ana McKee, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer of the Joint Commission, has expressed similar thoughts, stating:
Respiratory protection programs enhance safety for both workers and patients, but there are many common challenges associated with their implementation…We hope that by showcasing the innovative and effective strategies used by health care organizations across the country to overcome some of these challenges, hospitals can learn from one another as they implement and improve their own respiratory protection programs.
What do you think about this toolkit? If you work in a hospital, does your facility already have a respiratory protection program? Share your comments with us on Facebook & Google+.
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