2014-02-01 12:00 - Messages

NIOSH Health and Safety Practices Survey of Healthcare Workers

Training and awareness of employer safety procedures
Background : The Health and Safety Practices Survey of Healthcare Workers describes current practices used to minimize chemical exposures and barriers to using recommended personal protective equipment for the following: antineoplastic drugs, anesthetic gases, high level disinfectants, surgical smoke, aerosolized medications (pentamidine, ribavirin, and antibiotics), and chemical sterilants.
Methods : Twenty-one healthcare professional practice organizations collaborated with NIOSH to develop and implement the web-based survey.
Results : Twelve thousand twenty-eight respondents included professional, technical, and support occupations which routinely come in contact with the targeted hazardous chemicals. Chemical-specific safe handling training was lowest for aerosolized antibiotics (52%, n = 316), and surgical smoke (57%, n = 4,747). Reported employer procedures for minimizing exposure was lowest for surgical smoke (32%, n = 4,746) and anesthetic gases (56%, n = 3,604).
Conclusions : Training and having procedures in place to minimize exposure to these chemicals is one indication of employer and worker safety awareness. Safe handling practices for use of these chemicals will be reported in subsequent papers.

Source: Steege, A. L., Boiano, J. M. and Sweeney, M. H. (2014), NIOSH Health and Safety Practices Survey of Healthcare Workers: Training and awareness of employer safety procedures. Am. J. Ind. Med.

Perceived floor slipperiness and floor roughness in a gait experiment

BACKGROUND: Slips and falls contribute to occupational injuries and fatalities globally. Both floor slipperiness and floor roughness affect the occurrence of slipping and falling. Investigations on fall-related phenomena are important for the safety and health of workers. OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were to: compare the perceived floor slipperiness before and after walking on the floor; compare the perceived floor slipperiness with and without shoes for males and females; discuss the perceived floor roughness based on barefoot walking; and establish regression models to describe the relationship between perceived floor slipperiness and actual friction of the floors. METHODS: Male and female subjects walked on 3 m walkways with or without shoes. The perceived floor slipperiness ratings both before and after their walk were collected. RESULTS: The perceived floor slipperiness both before and after walking were significantly affected by both floor and surface conditions. Gender, floor, surface, and footwear conditions were all significant factors affecting the adjustment of perceived floor slipperiness. The subjects made more adjustment on perceived floor slipperiness rating when they had shoes on than when they were barefooted. CONCLUSION: Regression models were established to describe the relationship between perceived floor slipperiness and floor coefficient of friction. These models may be used to estimate perceived floor slipperiness, or in reverse, the coefficient of friction of the floor, so as to prevent slipping and falling in workplaces.

Source : Yu R, Li KW. Work. 2014.

Slips, trips and falls at a chemical manufacturing company

Background Slips, trips and falls (STF) are a major cause of workplace injury.AimsTo examine risk factors for STF at a large US chemical manufacturing company.
Methods We conducted a case-control study of occupational STF. Cases were identified from company injury records between 1 April 2009 and 1 May 2011. Four controls per case were randomly selected from all active company workers employed during the same time. Data were collected through a questionnaire and from company medical examinations. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for personal, environmental and health-related risk factors for STF.
Results There were 74 cases and 309 controls. The response rate was 65% for the cases and 68% for the controls. Most STF were unrelated to production activities. When examining all factors in a logistic regression model, increased OR were observed for increased body mass index (OR = 1.44, 95% CI: 1.03-2.02), having arthritis (OR = 2.11, 95% CI: 1.01-4.37), lack of exercise (OR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.01-5.05), carrying materials (OR = 3.01, 95% CI: 1.41-6.43) and being female (OR = 2.46, 95% CI: 1.17-5.19). Reduced risk of STF was observed for never having smoked (OR = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.24-0.95), long service (OR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.34-0.81) and persons working over 8h a day (OR = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.20-0.88).
Conclusions Risk factors for STF in a large US chemical company are similar to those reported from other workplaces, but we found that staying fit and healthy is important for reducing risk.

Source : Swaen G, Burns CJ, Collins JJ, Bodner KM, Dizor JF, Craun BA, Bonner EM. Occup. Med. 2014.

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