2015-11-01 12:00 - Messages

Precautionary Practices of Respiratory Care Practitioners who Administer Aerosolized Medications

A recent article from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that safe handling of aerosolized medications is not always universally practiced in healthcare settings, placing workers, co-workers and even family members at risk. This article was published in the October issue of the Respiratory Care and is available online.
Results are derived from the 2011 Health and Safety Practices Survey of Healthcare Workers, the largest federally-sponsored survey of healthcare workers in the U.S. which addresses safety and health practices relative to chemical agents routinely used or present in healthcare settings. This paper describes current exposure control practices and barriers to using personal protective equipment (PPE) during administration of selected aerosolized medications among respiratory care practitioners including respiratory therapists (RTs), nurses, and other healthcare practitioners.
Respiratory care practitioners administer aerosolized drugs, such as pentamidine and various antibiotics, to treat respiratory infections. At the time of the survey, pentamidine was classified by NIOSH as a hazardous drug with rigorous safe handling guidelines. The antibiotics included in this study (amikacin, colistin and tobramycin) were not classified as hazardous drugs, with less comparable guidelines for administering them available.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-11-18-15.html

Assessing barriers to the use of fall protection in small residential construction companies in New Jersey

Three focus groups were conducted with residential construction workers from local New Jersey labor organizations to characterize barriers to fall protection use among residential construction contractors who work for companies with fewer than ten employees. Thirty-six residential construction workers volunteered to participate, the average age was thirty-nine years, and twenty-four (67%) were of Hispanic origin. Twelve (33%) of the participants reported having fallen from greater than 6 ft at work and twenty (56%) of the participants had known someone who has fallen from greater than 6 ft. Sixteen (44%) had not been provided with fall protection equipment by their employer and eighteen (50%) reported their current employer had not provided workplace safety training. Factors that created barriers to use of fall protection equipment such as equipment availability, employee/employer relationships, cultural differences, and company size were identified. Results from this study confirm that falls remain a concern among residential construction workers in small companies.

Source: Borjan M, Patel T, Lefkowitz D, Campbell C, Lumia M. New Solut. 2015.

The hybrid personal cooling system (PCS) could effectively reduce the heat strain while exercising in a hot and moderate humid environment

This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of a hybrid personal cooling system (PCS) in mitigating body heat stain while exercising in a hot environment. Eight subjects underwent two trials: PCS and CON (i.e., no cooling). All trials were conducted at an air temperature of 36±0.5 °C and RH=59±5%. The key findings demonstrated that the PCS could significantly reduce the core temperature, mean skin temperature, heart rate and physiological strain index during both exercise and recovery periods (p<0.05). Subjective perceptions were also significantly alleviated in PCS at the end of the exercise and during the recovery (p<0.05). Besides, the PCS could also bring remarkable benefits in lowering local skin temperatures and in improving perceptual sensations in both upper and lower body during both exercise and recovery periods (p<0.05). It was thus concluded that the hybrid PCS is effective in mitigating body heat strain while exercising in a hot environment.

Source: Song W, Wang F. Ergonomics, 2015.

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