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OSHAlert Blog from Quality America

MSDS for IV Solutions?

Q: Do we need to have MSDS sheets for IV solutions that we administer to patients in our office? A: Great question! The answer: it depends. The criteria you must consider when evaluating whether MSDS are required are: 1. Is...

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Posted by salholm at 01:55 PM

Where Does OSHA Say That?

Q: I am having a hard time finding where it says that employees may not eat or drink in clinical areas. Can you tell me? A: In the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030), paragraph (d)(2)(ix) and (d)(2)(x), OSHA states:...

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Posted by salholm at 01:38 PM

Can Front Desk Employees Eat & Drink?

Q: We are having a little debate at our medical center regarding open food and beverages. The debate regards the appointment desk, specifically are staff allowed to eat in this area and whether or not there is potential for BBP...

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Posted by salholm at 01:19 PM

Patient's Relative to Perform Phlebotomy at Home?

Q: Can a patient's family member who has the ability to draw blood, draw the patient's blood and bring it to our POL (Physician's Office Laboratory) for testing? The family member is not an employee of our facility, but the...

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Posted by sdunn at 02:54 PM

Electronic Newsletters and Spam Filters

Quality America recently took a call from a customer inquiring as to why she had not received her electronic OSHA Watch Newsletter Updates. After looking into the situation it was discovered that an e-mail spam filter was to blame for...

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Posted by salholm at 01:13 PM

Are Non-safety Needles Ever Okay?

Q: I remember reading during an OSHA inspection, a hazmat blanket was put out on the floor and the sharps containers were opened. The inspector had noticed a non-safety needle, and decided to open all the sharps to take a...

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Posted by salholm at 09:56 AM

Keep Exposure Records 30 Years?

Q: We have Quality America's OSHA Safety Program Manual and also subscribe to your OSHA Watch Newsletter Updates. You state in Tab 5 of the manual that the recordkeeping requirement for employee exposures is the duration of employment plus 30...

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Posted by sdunn at 11:53 AM

Face Protection for High-level Disinfectants

Q: What type of mask should be used when working with chemical disinfectants such as Rapicide? This disinfectant is used for flexible endoscopes, etc. A: Wear a plastic full face shield when working with high-level disinfectants. This rule applies for...

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Posted by sdunn at 04:03 PM

Why Are They Hazardous?

Q: I have a question about hazardous drugs (CD's). Our office currently uses Methotrexate, and I certainly understand the hazards of that drug, but was wondering why Medroxyprogesterone and Estradiol are listed as hazardous drugs? With Medroxyprogesterone, we use this...

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Posted by sdunn at 02:13 PM

Clean the Autoclave?

Q: I read somewhere that the autoclave must be cleaned monthly. How do I clean it? A: The frequency of recommended cleaning, and the procedures for doing so, are different for autoclaves made by various manufacturers. Check the operator's manual...

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Posted by sdunn at 01:59 PM

Re-use Phlebotomy Tourniquets?

Q: Is there an OSHA regulation for tourniquet usage that states they can only be used once on each patient and then must be discarded? A: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the Federal agency responsible for worker...

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Posted by sdunn at 03:25 PM

OSHA Watch Newsletter format change

OSHA Watch subscribers will notice a new format beginning with the Jan/Feb 2007 issue. OSHA Watch is now primarily a vehicle to keep your OSHA Manual up-to-date. To accomplish this, we've deleted the lengthy lead story, and replaced it with...

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Posted by kmazza at 03:24 PM

Acceptable Distance to Eyewash Station?

Q: Is there a certain distance to have the eye wash station between clinic areas. We have one station being used by two clinic areas which are several hundred feet apart. Also is another option to have a water bottle...

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Posted by kmazza at 03:11 PM

Rooms Don't Have Sharps Containers

Q: I am supervisor of specimen procurement. Safety is important to me and my staff. We have a unit for drug abusers and a psych unit. These patient rooms do not have needle biohazard containers in the room for obvious...

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Posted by kmazza at 03:02 PM

Who Can Administer TSTs?

Q: Are there any qualifications for performing PPD testing and reading other than being an RN??? A: In most jurisdictions, any licensed health professional (D.O., M.D., P.A., N.P., R.N.) who has been properly trained may administer the Mantoux tuberculin skin...

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Posted by kmazza at 02:39 PM

Winter Driving Safety

We received these tips and wanted to pass them on to you: Stay safe over the coming months, especially if driving in snow and ice. Here are a few tips to help prevent motor vehicle injuries during winter storms. Please...

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Posted by kmazza at 02:30 PM

Attendance at Safety Meetings

Q: I'm planning my yearly OSHA staff meetings, not yearly training. Are clerical employees required to attend every meeting if only medical issues are being talked about? Is a quarterly meeting OK? A: No, clerical employees do not need to...

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Posted by kmazza at 02:28 PM

Who Is Responsible?

Q: If an outside x-ray company is renting our space are we responsible for their OSHA compliance/training etc? A: Yes. If an employee is injured on your property, OSHA will likely hold you responsible and inspect your facility. I would...

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Posted by kmazza at 11:53 AM

Wear Gloves During Eye Surgery?

Q: During bloodborne pathogen training at our Eye Surgeon's office a question about using gloves when touching a patient's eyes came up. The employer says "no," but I remember this came up in your audio conference and you recommended using...

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Posted by sdunn at 09:58 AM

No Lids on Containers?

Q: I read the article in Quality America's Nov/Dec OSHAWatch Newsletter on the office that had the OSHA inspection. They were cited because there were no lids on the containers with red bags. Our patient care areas contain biohazard waste...

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Posted by sdunn at 09:35 AM

Biohazard Container Under Sink

Q: To cut down on unecessary non-biohazard waste going into the exam red bags, one of my practices have put the bio-hazard receptacle under the sink. Out of sight, out of mind. Also, even with multiple signage, the patients would...

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Posted by sdunn at 09:04 AM

Multi-Location Medical Practices Catch a Break with QA

If you're like most large practices with multiple locations, putting together any program for each location can be a logistical and financial challenge. That's why QA has put together a volume pricing initiative for our OSHA safety products, making it...

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Posted by kmazza at 11:34 AM

New Test For Beryllium Contamination

Beryllium is added to dental alloys for use in crowns, bridges and partial denture frameworks. Beryllium compounds have been linked to health problems ranging from contact dermatitis to chronic lung disease to cancer. Exposures to beryllium result from melting, grinding,...

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Posted by kmazza at 11:29 AM

Test Your Knowledge - Biohazardous Waste Containers

Which of the following is true regarding biohazardous waste containers? A. Containers must be leak-proof. B. Containers must contain the biohazard symbol. C. Containers must be located at the point of waste generation. D. All are true. E. None are...

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Posted by kmazza at 11:26 AM

Ignoring HIPAA?

Since the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 2003, the Department of Health and Human Services has not taken enforcement actions against those violating the privacy rules. (Editors Note: Sure wish OSHA was that nice!)...

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Posted by kmazza at 11:09 AM

Glutaraldehyde Exposure Limits?

Q: We had air sampling for glutaraldehyde performed in our decontamination washer room. The result came back at 0.017 ppm. Do we need to change to an ortho-phthalaldehyde based high-level disinfectant solution like Cidex OPA? A: Your air sampling results...

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Posted by sdunn at 04:30 PM

Disposing of Glutaraldehyde

Q: What is the proper way of discarding wavicide solution down the drain? A: Wavicide is glutaraldehyde product. According to both OSHA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, glutaraldehyde solutions may be disposed of as ordinary domestic waste at the...

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Posted by kmazza at 11:52 AM

Home Launder PPE?

Q: What is the accepted standard for laundering ppe garments. Can they be transported home for personal washing? A: Home washing of PPE is not allowed. The employer needs to launder the PPE. If you are responsible for this process,...

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Posted by kmazza at 03:03 PM


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