Tuesday, November 10, 2015

OSHA and the Red Cross renew focus on protecting the safety of health care workers

OSHA and the American Red Cross renew alliance focused on protecting the safety and health of volunteers, employees

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the American Red Cross on 11/9/2015 renewed their alliance to continue efforts to reduce workplace incidents and protect workers from hazardous exposures. During this five-year alliance, OSHA and the Red Cross will focus on providing workers and employers with information and training resources on emergency preparedness, disease prevention education and first aid.
“Our alliance with the Red Cross over the past 10 years has allowed us to share safety and health information with workers, particularly those most vulnerable to workplace hazards,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “We look forward to continuing this partnership to provide workers with the resources necessary to stay safe and healthy on the job.”
The Red Cross has been helpful in sharing information on updates to OSHA’s injury reporting requirements and also hosted a webinar on bloodborne pathogens and prevention of disease transmission in the workplace.
“This alliance reaffirms our commitment to training and preparation to help save lives,” said Dominick Tolli, Vice President, Preparedness and Health and Safety Services at the Red Cross. “Knowing the correct steps to take in those critical first moments of an emergency can mean the difference between life and death.”
Founded in 1881, the Red Cross helps communities through disaster preparedness and service. Volunteers and staff provide care to people affected by disasters in the United States and support members of the military and their families.  The Red Cross also facilitates blood collection and distribution, health and safety education and training, and international relief and development.
Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA inspections or any other enforcement benefits.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

All health care providers are required to complete training anally in OSHA rules and compliance. In busy medical practice settings this can easily be put on the back burner but it is vital that your staff maintain their training requirementsOSHA compliance training is not only required and for the safety of your staff but also for the protection of your patients and visitors to your practice.
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