n resource management OSHA website
Visit the OSHA website (www.osha.gov) and summarize their policy regarding hazard communication. Include information on the following five (5) issues: hazard communication standard, MSDS requirement, hazard plan, foreign language requirements, and lock-out regulation – 1.5 page response
Dessler, G. (2008). Human resource management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Chs. 16-17, pp. 637-736
OSHA offers best practices for hospitals receiving victims of mass casualties
Anonymous. OSHA offers best practices for hospitals receiving victims of mass casualties. (2005, March) Professional Safety, 50(3), 25
Long-term ethylene oxide exposure trends in US hospitals: Relationship with OSHA regulatory and enforcement actions
LaMontagne, A.D., Oakes, J.M., & Lopez-Turley, R.N. (2004). Long-term ethylene oxide exposure trends in US hospitals: Relationship with OSHA regulatory and enforcement actions. American Journal of Public Health, 94(9), 1614-1619
Pointing the way to reducing needlestick injuries
Smith, S. (2003, July). Pointing the way to reducing needlestick injuries. Occupational Hazards 65(7), 20
OSHA proposes $45K in penalties
Verney, S. (2004, September). OSHA proposes $45K in penalties. Business Journal, 19 (50) 7.
Lecture and Research Update from Your Professors, Hyacinth
Broderick-Scott, Ed.D. and Ben Sharpton, M.A.
You wi l l receive the greatest benefit from the fol lowing Lecture and Research Update i f you fi rst read
this narrative, review the lesson, study the Required Readings, then come back to this section and
careful ly re-read this Lecture and Research Update. The “lecture” portion of this narrative focuses on
issues from the textbook that need further explanation, whi le the “research update” portion integrates
supportive information from recent professional academic and trade articles wi th the textbook
The terms heal th, safety, and securi ty are closely related. Health is a broad, somewhat nebulous
term that refers to a general state of physical , mental , and emotional wel l -being. A heal thy person is
one who is free of i l lness, injury, or mental and emotional problems that impai r normal human activi ty.
Heal th management practices in heal th care organizations strive to maintain the overal l wel l -being of
individuals. Typical ly, safety refers to protecting the physical wel l-being of people. The main purpose
of effective safety programs in organizations is to prevent work-related injuries and accidents.
Security programs in the heal th care field protect employees, patients/residents, cl ients, visi tors, and
organizational faci l i ties. Wi th the growth of workplace violence, securi ty at work has become an even
greater concern for heal th care employers and employees al ike. This Lecture and Research Update
describes standards that regulate heal th, safety, and securi ty in heal th service/heal th care
organizations (HSOs/HCOs). In addi tion, i t discusses some characteristics of successful programs
promoting heal th awareness, safety management, and securi ty and identi fies the persons responsible
for the implementation of these programs. In addi tion, i t addresses a few issues related to global HR
in the heal th care industry.
Standards Associated with Health, Safety, and Security
Heal th service organizations and heal th care organizations are dangerous places. Caustic and toxic
chemicals in the laboratory and pharmacy, sl icing equipment in food services, radiation in radiology,
ethylene oxide in supply processing, and infections in patient care areas are a few of the many
hazards. The heal th services industry has recognized this danger, and the Joint Commission on
Accredi tation of Heal thcare Organizations (JCAHO) has formulated standards for safety in
HSOs/HCOs, including requi rements for mul tidiscipl inary commi ttees to identi fy and correct safety
problems and educate employees on the importance of safety. In addi tion, increased focus on
reducing workplace violence is gaining greater attention (Kleiman, 1997). Employers have a
responsibi l i ty to provide a secure and safe workplace for thei r employees and customers. The
Occupational Safety and Heal th Administration (OSHA) and JCAHO are two organizations whose
standards address these issues.
OSHA implements the law that requi res organizations to perform three major activi ties.
1. Promulgation and enforcement of safety standards to el iminate or lessen hazards
2. Record keeping
3. Training and education
You are strongly encouraged as part of this assignment to review the OSHA guidel ines at
www.osha.gov regarding the fol lowing.
2. Personal protective equipment
3. Hazard communication
4. Blood-borne pathogens
In addi tion, you should review your state’s laws and federal laws regarding Workers’ Compensation,
Fami ly Medical Leave Act, and the Americans wi th Disabi l i ties Act.
JCAHO also sets standards speci fical ly relating to heal th, safety, and securi ty. The two primary topic
areas are envi ronment of care (EC) and survei l lance, prevention, and control of infection. First, heal th
care organizations must provide a safe, functional , and effective environment of care for patients,
visi tors, medical and nursing staffs, vendors, volunteers, students, and anyone on the organization’s
campus. The standard requi res the development of plans that address safety, securi ty, hazardous
materials and waste, emergency preparedness, l i fe safety, medical equipment, and uti l i ty systems,
including regularly inspected back-up generators. These plans promote a safe, secure environment
when effectively shared wi th staff. Wi th education and ongoing supervision, staff members implement
each phase of the plans.
Wi th regard to securi ty, JCAHO also considers emergency preparedness part of EC. The
Envi ronment of Care standards for JCAHO requi re member hospi tals to conduct emergency
preparedness dri l ls regularly. The HR management impl ications of emergency preparedness are very
signi ficant. As proven by the events of September 11, 2001, the importance of having competent,
wel l -trained heal th care workers that have the abi l i ty and ski l ls to provide care in times of disaster has
increased in importance (Grice, 2001).
The American Hospi tal Association, in a member advisory released after the terrorist attacks of
September 11, suggested the use of the fol lowing checkl ist in preparing for a disaster.
1. The hospi tal should focus efforts on a general “al l hazards” plan that provides an adaptable
framework for any crisis si tuation.
2. The hospi tal should upgrade i ts disaster plan to include components for mass casual ty terrorism,
including chemical or biological incidents.
3. The hospi tal ’s plan should be integrated wi th the emergency response agencies in the local
4. The hospi tal should have a plan in place to support the fami l ies of staff members. In order for
caregivers to remain at thei r jobs, they need assurance that thei r fami l ies and loved ones are
being cared for.
5. The hospi tal should ensure that i ts cl inical and medical staff report unexpected i l lness patterns to
the publ ic heal th department and, i f appropriate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Second, a signi ficant element of concern covered by JCAHO is infection control . Al l staff in heal th
care organizations have some infection control (IC) responsibi l i ties and must competently perform
thei r assigned role in the organization’s safety management program. JCAHO has a set of standards
that speci fical ly address the protection of patients, staff, and visi tors and that focus on identi fying the
organization’s infection risks and taking the necessary risk-reduction steps. As an example, screening
staff for tuberculosis, providing hepati tis B vaccinations, and implementing ongoing education
regarding the importance of hand washing are risk-reduction strategies.
Health Awareness in the Workplace
Employee heal th problems are varied, ranging from minor i l lnesses such as colds to serious i l lnesses
related to the jobs performed. Some problems are chronic; others are transi tory, yet heal th concerns
are inevi table and can affect organizational operations and individual employee productivi ty. Key
personal heal th issues for heal th care workers include substance abuse, emotional and mental
problems, and alcohol or drug problems. In addi tion, heal th care workers may also face problems wi th
indoor ai r qual i ty, latex al lergies, inadvertent needle sticks, and sl ips and fal ls, hazardous chemicals,
cumulative trauma injuries, and blood-borne pathogens. AIDS also poses a unique problem for heal th
service and heal th care organizations (HSOs/HCOs). Protecting heal th care workers from patients is
compounded by the need to protect patients from heal th care workers. Universal precautions protect
workers and other patients by reducing the risk of cross-infection by assuming that every patient is
HIV posi tive.
Heal th care employers concerned about maintaining a heal thy workforce must move beyond simply
providing heal thy working condi tions to emphasizing employee heal th and wel lness in other ways.
Heal th promotion is a supportive approach to faci l i tate, encourage, and help employees to enhance
heal thy actions and l i festyles. Organizations engage in heal th promotion by encouraging employees
to make physiological , mental , and social choices that improve thei r heal th (Downey, 2001). Some
components frequently found in successful employee heal th promotion programs include the
1. Wel lness Programs: Designed to maintain or improve employee heal th before problems arise.
Wel lness programs encourage sel f-di rected l i festyle changes (Gi l lete, 2001).
2. Employee Assistance Programs: Provide counsel ing and other help to employees having
emotional , physical , or other personal problems.
3. Organizational Heal th Cul ture: Emphasizes and supports heal th efforts. Common to employers
promoting a cul ture of heal th awareness are integrative, broad-based efforts supported both
financial ly and managerial ly. Developing pol icies and procedures supporting heal th efforts,
establ ishing on-si te exercise faci l i ties, and consistently promoting heal th programs al l
contribute to creating a heal th promotion envi ronment throughout the organization.
Effective safety management requi res an organizational commi tment to safe working condi tions, and
wel l -designed and managed safety programs can reduce accidents and associated costs, such as
workers’ compensation and possible fines. Further, accidents and other safety concerns do decl ine
when an effective safety management program wi th a number of components is in place. Some
components frequently seen in successful heal th care safety programs include the fol lowing.
1. Safety Commi ttees: Employees frequently are involved in safety planning through safety
commi ttees often composed of workers from a variety of levels and departments. A wel l -trained safety commi ttee is a valuable tool for helping organizations provide a safe workplace
for employees and a broader base of support for safety ini tiatives (Vanderhoof, 2002).
2. Safety Training and Communications: One way to encourage employee safety is to involve al l
employees at various times in safety training. For example, i t might be necessary for
employees to wear safety glasses in a laboratory most of the time. If the glasses are awkward,
however, employees may resist using them even when they know they should have protection.
Because of such problems, safety training and communication efforts must address safety
issues so that employees view safety as important and are motivated to fol low safe work
3. Employee Safety Motivation and Incentives: To encourage heal th care employees to work
safely, many organizations have used safety contests and have given employees incentives
for safe work behavior (Casison, 2000).
4. Inspection and Accident Investigation and Evaluation: It is not necessary to wai t for an OSHA
inspector to inspect the work area for safety hazards; a safety commi ttee or safety coordinator
may conduct inspections. Safety inspections should occur on a regular basis because OSHA
may inspect organizations wi th above-average lost workday rates more frequently.
Addi tional ly, given the paral lel between JCAHO standards on the Environment of Care and
OSHA standards, many heal th care organizations conduct mock surveys in advance of a
JCAHO visi t that are also useful for OSHA compl iance (Menard, 2001).
5. Reinforcement and Discipl ine: Frequently reinforcing the need for safe behavior and supplying
feedback on posi tive safety practices also are extremely effective in improving worker safety
(Blair & Gel ler, 2000). Such efforts must involve employees, supervisors, managers, safety
special ists, and HR staff members. Discipl ining violators is another important component of the
safety program effort.
Traditionally, when heal th care employers have addressed worker heal th, safety, and securi ty, they
have been concerned mostly about reducing workplace accidents, improving workers’ safety
practices, and reducing heal th hazards at work. Over the past decade, however, providing securi ty for
employees, patients, residents, and cl ients has grown in importance.
Workplace violence has been an increasingly important topic for heal th care employers (Pi turro,
2001). Incidents of workplace violence occur regularly in hospi tals, cl inics, and nursing homes. The
domestic problems of patients/residents/cl ients and their fami ly members often erupt in verbal or
physical assaul ts. Heal th care workers can easi ly get caught in the middle of these issues, and
sometimes they are requi red to attempt to manage them.
Managers, HR staff members, supervisors, and employees should be trained on how to recognize the
signs of a potential ly violent employee and what to do when violence occurs. For instance, this
training may be important for the fi rst contact wi th an organization, the receptionist, who may need to
recognize warning signs of a potential ly violent employee, former employee, or outsider. During
training at many organizations, participants learn the typical profi le of potential ly violent employees
and are trained to noti fy the HR department and to refer employees to outside counsel ing
professionals. Employee assistance programs offered by employers often cover those services
(Nadel , 2001).
Heal th care HR professionals, along wi th heal th care managers and safety professionals, play key
roles in preparing for disaster si tuations. Given the fact that the heal th care organizations are both
employers and care providers, disaster preparation is important for both the management of internal
disasters, such as fires, hazardous chemical leaks or spi l ls, and for deal ing wi th patient care needs or
external disasters such as a plane or train accidents may create. In both instances, heal th care
workers are requi red to perform in extraordinary ways. Their personal safety maybe at risk, or they
may have to deal wi th the patient care needs of a high volume of cri tical ly injured or exposed patients.
Persons Responsible for Health, Safety, and Security
Operations managers and HR staff members working together share the general goal of providing a
heal thy, safe, and secure workplace. The primary heal th, safety, and securi ty responsibi l i ties in an
organization usual ly fal l on supervisors and managers. An HR manager or safety special ist
(sometimes cal led a risk manager) can help coordinate heal th and safety programs, investigate
accidents, produce safety program materials, and conduct formal safety training; however,
department supervisors and managers play key roles in maintaining safe working condi tions and a
heal thy workforce. For example, a dental cl inic supervisor has several heal th and safety
responsibi l i ties such as reminding employees to wear the appropriate protective equipment and
clothing, checking on the cleanl iness of the work area, observing employees for any alcohol , drug, or
emotional problems that may affect their work behavior, and conducting safety orientations and
There is a growing international ization of business operations by both U.S. and foreign-based
companies. The U.S., in particular, has been expanding i ts operations into other countries in order to
take advantage of lower production costs, increase i ts market presence, and in some cases avoid the
stricter envi ronmental , taxation, and other regulatory restrictions imposed by the U.S. government.
Companies operating in more than one country are known as mul tinational corporations. Practical ly
every Fortune 500 Company conducts i ts operations in one or more foreign country, as do many
lesser-establ ished companies.
The HR departments of mul tinational corporations perform simi lar functions and have simi lar
objectives as thei r domestic counterparts; however, they do face unique chal lenges in performing
those functions and accompl ishing those objectives when their companies’ operations span a variety
of cul tures, laws, ethnici ties, and languages. Al though a primary function of an HR department is
personnel recrui tment and selection for both mul tinational and national companies, the HR
department for mul tinational corporations must devote addi tional resources and expertise to assisting
employees adapt to a foreign land. HR departments for mul tinationals must assist wi th orienting
prospective employees in, not only wi th becoming fami l iar wi th the company i tsel f, but also wi th the
language, cul ture, and customs of the country they are assigned to. More extensive relocation plans
must also be developed. Translation services must be arranged. Such arrangements are particularly
important for managers who are sent overseas to supervise operations manned primari ly wi th foreign