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  • Heather Cummings

Hospital OSHA Compliance

Updated: Aug 29

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has hundreds of general and specific industry regulations, and many employers struggle to understand all the subsets and requirements of these policies. OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard 1910.1030, for example, applies to all employees who have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials, but is most directly tied to the health care field. The standard has numerous sections, which outline different requirements, but any small infraction, including the inaccurate placement of laundry receptacles, is considered a violation and places the facility at risk.

The provision offers detailed specifications for personal protective equipment (PPE), such as scrubs, clinical jackets or fluid resistant gowns and lab coats. While some hospitals may think providing PPE is the best option, it is extremely expensive, and many hospitals fail to meet all conditions due to the number of products needed. In an attempt to reduce costs and encourage compliance, many hospitals hire textile services, which already have a large inventory of PPE products and can ensure all employees receive proper PPE quality and fit.

Another important aspect of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard deals with the handling of PPE and other contaminated laundry. Employees are not permitted to take their PPE home to launder it; rather the items must be placed in an appropriately designated area or container for storage, washing, decontamination or disposal. Contaminated laundry should be handled as little as possible and properly labeled receptacles must be located in all areas of use.

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