Long Term Care Worker Safety
   News and Updates


Please check the updated flu information and vaccine information at www.cdc.gov and www.flu.gov - encourage all healthcare workers, your family and friends to get vaccinated now!

Hazard Communication Standard - Updates and Changes

In 2010, according to the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing and residential care facilities experienced one of the highest rates of lost workdays due to injuries and illnesses of all major American industries. "These are people who have dedicated their lives to caring for our loved ones when they are not well. It is not acceptable that they continue to get hurt at such high rates," said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
OSHA QuickTakes April 16, 2012, Vol 11, Issue 9.

Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2011 preliminary National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries announced

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the preliminary results of its National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Findings show that the number of fatal work injuries in 2011 was slightly lower than final results from 2010. Last year, 4,609 workers died from work-related injuries, down from a final count of 4,690 in 2010. The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, as compared to a final rate of 3.6 per 100,000 for 2010. Final 2011 data from the CFOI program will be released in spring 2013.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement in response to the census: "Today's report shows a decline in the number of workplace fatalities. It's a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. We will continue to collaborate with employers, workers, labor leaders, and safety and health professionals to ensure that every American who clocks in for a shift can make it home safe and sound at the end of the day. On average, 13 workers lose their lives each and every day, and that loss ripples throughout their communities. Children, parents, brothers, sisters and neighbors all bear an enormous burden when a loved one dies on the job."
Read the Secretary's full statement. For more information on the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, see the BLS press release.

Life-threatening germ poses threat across medical facilities

CDC highlights steps to prevent spread of deadly C. difficile bacteria, which impacts patients in nursing homes and outpatient care, not just hospitals. READ MORE��.

New National Emphasis Program for Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced on April 5th, a new National Emphasis Program for Nursing and Residential Care Facilities to protect workers from serious safety and health hazards that are common in medical industries. OSHA develops national emphasis programs to focus outreach efforts and inspections on specific hazards in an industry for a three-year period. Through this NEP, OSHA will target nursing homes and residential care facilities in an effort to reduce occupational illnesses and injuries.Read More.

OSHA's Computer Workstations Tips

Check out the valuable information on Computer Workstations that OSHA provides with easy access on their website. With so many of our workers using computers today, we all need to be aware of ways to use them and minimize the ergonomics hazards. Click here for more information.

NFPA Health Care Inspection Checklist
Click here to open the Inspection Checklist in PDF format.

Video: 40 Year Anniversary of OSHA.
Watch and listen to the great history of OSHA, how it started, the impact on many industries, and its ongoing commitment to worker safety.
See Video.

Workplace Violence
Read about the OSHA Compliance directive posted on Sept 8, 2011 related to addressing workplace violence. Check out the new wepage devoted to this topic.
Read More.

OSHA Inspection Information for High Hazard Workplaces
Note the change in OSHA annual inspection criteria, including the change related to size of industry (in 2011, those with 20 or more employees may be subject to inspections).
Read More.

   Submit a Training Report
If you are a registered trainer you can now submit your training reports online! Simply follow the Trainers link in the top navigation, and send a password request to get started.

Welcome and Mission

With the support of a Susan Harwood Development Grant, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor, the University of Texas at Arlington has developed and is delivering a multi-level capacity building program.

The mission of this program is to provide training and education of the serious risks and frequent hazards to Long Term Care workers and employers. This includes the recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces, and to inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Participants will be better prepared to address public health, patient care needs and be better informed about the benefits of working together to develop an institutional safety climate. Long Term Healthcare workers will learn the positive impact of compliance with recommended health and safety practices and OSHA regulations.

Upcoming Programs

The Long Term Care Worker Protection Program covers many of the current OSHA standards with specific application to long term care. The content is beneficial to anyone working in nursing homes and assisted living centers and provided to you at no charge.

Upcoming cities and dates include:

  • Currently, there are no scheduled courses

Free Webinars

The webinars listed below are free and available to everyone. Please take advantage of these great opportunities to listen to experts talk about some of the critical topics in safety and health in long term care.

Ebola Contact-Transmissible Disease

Presenter: Traci Pollard

Fire Safety for Long Term Care Facilities

Electrical Safety: Eliminate Electrical Hazards in the Workplace

To handle electricity safely, it is necessary to understand what hazards it presents and how these hazards can be controlled. This webinar explores how to identify and eliminate or control electrical hazards with thorough training and planning.

Ergonomics: Minimizing Hazards in the Workplace

Ergonomic hazards impact employers, workers, and their families. Poor workplace design, awkward body mechanics or postures, repetitive movements, and other ergonomic hazards induce or contribute to a staggering number of cumulative trauma disorders. This webinar identifies potential ergonomic hazards in the workplace and provides practical solutions to eliminate and/or minimize these problems.
Click here to download the accompanying PowerPoint presentation.

Hazard Communication in Long Term Care Facilities

Hazard communication is an important concern in long-term care facilities since employees may work with chemicals as part of their jobs. This webinar intends to help reduce the risk of workers being exposed to chemicals.

Infection Control Measures For Long Term Care Facilities

This webinars offers guidelines that health care professionals in long-term care facilities can use in the care of their residents, as well as practices for preventing the spread of infectious organisms to other residents and staff.

OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Seminar: Prevention Techniques & Active Shooter Preparedness

Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behaviour that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. This three-part webinar is designed to provide you with best practices to help prevent workplace violence and strategies to protect yourself and fellow co-workers when encountering an Active Shooter scenario.
WPV Webinar Pt.1
WPV Webinar Pt.2
WPV Webinar Pt.3

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Protect Yourself in the Workplace

Using personal protective equipment is often essential, but is usually the last line of defence after engineering controls, work practices, and administrative controls. This webinar evaluates a variety of PPE devices, including proper use of PPE to prevent the spread of infectious disease in a healthcare setting.

Walking and Working Surfaces: Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls (STFs) constitute the majority of general industry accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. This webinar examines the main causes of (STFs), the risk factors involved (including human and environmental), and measures on reducing and ultimately eliminating STFs.

Additional Resources

The following documents provide additional information related to Workplace Violence Prevention:

Worker Safety in Long Term Care

Long Term Care Worker

Nursing homes and personal care facilities (assisted living) have one of the highest rates of injury and illness among industries for which nationwide Lost Workday Industry and Illness (LWDII) rates are calculated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics documented that nursing and personal care facility employers experience an average LWDII rate of 7.6, when the rate for private industry is 2.8 as a whole.

The older age groups in the U.S. is growing - the need for long term care and assisted living is growing as well. It is estimated that the proportion of the population in older age groups will grow faster than the total population between 2008-2018. With age often comes a higher incidence of injury and illness, and in many cases these events take longer healing times. A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, 2003) report on The Future Supply of Long Term Care Workers in Relation to Aging Baby Boom Generation estimated that 27 million Americans will need Long Term care services by 2050, and that will require 5.7-6.6 million direct care workers.

While the employment picture is positive, i.e., many job opportunities in long term care, the other side is the worker safety challenges that long term care must deal with every day. Providing the best, most comprehensive and compassionate care is the goal of every long term care facility. To do this, every facility needs their staff to be safe and healthy!

LTC Worker Safety Articles

Patient Ceiling Lift

Safe Patient Handling

One major source of injury to healthcare workers is musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). In 2010, nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants had the highest rates of MSDs. There were 27,020 cases, which equates to an incidence rate (IR) of 249 per 10,000 workers, more than seven times the average for all industries. This compares to the all-worker days-away from work rate of 34 per 10,000 workers. The rate for construction laborers was 85.0, and for laborers and freight, stock and material movers the IR was 154.9, still far lower than that of nursing aides and orderlies. In 2010, the average incidence rate for musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) cases with days away from work increased 4 percent, while the MSD incidence rate for nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants increased 10 percent.
Read The Full Article...

Knowing the Materials We are Working With: Hazardous Communication Standard 29 CFR 1910.1200

You are finishing your evening shift at the local Long Term Care Facility, when your co-worker asks you to help her complete her duties. As she has several Residents who required more care than usual, you are glad to help. She hands you a spray bottle of cleaner and asks you to wipe down the counters in the Nurses Station and the Medication Cart. You do notice that the cleaning solution has a very strong odor.

blood glucose monitoring

Hepatitis B Outbreaks Linked To Unsafe Practices: CDC Issues Alert On Infection Control

"Outbreaks of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection associated with blood glucose monitoring have been identified with increasing regularity, particularly in long-term care settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, where residents often require assistance with monitoring of blood glucose levels and/or insulin administration," the CDC states.
Read The Full Article...

Image of person falling

Avoid Slips and Falls

Good housekeeping practices help you avoid injuries as well as comply with OSHA regulations on Walking and Working Surfaces. Employee and resident or visitor injuries caused by slips/trips/falls due to wet floors, spills, or leaks, can be very costly both to individuals' safety and health as well as in dollars for medical care and rehabilitative therapy.

image of nurses lifting a patient

Safe Lifting and Moving - the First Steps are Critical!

Whether you are about to move a resident, or a large object... the first steps are very important:

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