Quality America

OSHA Watch Question of the Month - Jan/Feb 2003

Jan/Feb Question of the Month:
"What factors in a medical workplace should most concern clinical staff who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant?"

Answer: More than 75% of women in the workforce are of reporductive age. Ninety-two percent of the 4.3 million nurses and nursing aides in the U.S. are female. Because of the high incidence of females in healthcare, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has prioritized the health and safety of healthcare workers of childbearing age.

The top factors that should concern female medical workers who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant are:

Musculoskeletal orders
Workplace violence
Latex allergy
Needlestick injuries
Exposure to hazardous substances
Check Product Labels

Workers of reproductive age should be vigilant about checking al product labels of substances they work with. Labels are required by OSHA to list target organs that may be affected by exposure, as well as any symptoms of exposure. This "target organ" analysis includes information about the reproductive effects of labeled substances. The label also should include possible signs and symptoms of exposure, such as birth defects or sterility.

For more information about reproductive hazards for healthcare workers go to: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homempate.html

Posted by Quality America on December 19, 2005 | Comments (0)


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  • About Dr. Dunn

Dr. Sheila Dunn is president and CEO of Quality America, Inc., a health care consulting firm located in Asheville, NC. She holds a doctoral degree in medical
laboratory education, and is a widely
respected lecturer and author of more than 200 articles on practice management and regulatory compliance issues for the primary care medical market.
(More about Dr. Dunn)

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