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OSHA Launches National Emphasis Program Targeting Nursing Homes and CCRCs

by Published On: Apr 11, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced a new 3-year NationalEmphasis Program (NEP) that calls for programmed inspections of nursing facilities (NAICS 623110), residential mental retardation facilities (NAICS 623210), and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) (NAICS 623311). However, this does not include assisted living facilities without on-site nursing facilities. 

The NEP will address occupational illnesses and injuries related to:

  • Ergonomic stressors in patient lifting.
  • Bloodborne pathogens.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Workplace violence.
  • Slips, trips and falls.
  • Other hazards that may be present, including exposure to multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), such as MRSA, and exposure to hazardous chemicals, such as sanitizers, disinfectants and hazardous drugs.

For this NEP, OSHA will target facilities with a days-away-from-work (DART) rate of 10 or higher per 100 full-time workers. OSHA indicates that approximately 700 facilities will be inspected as part of the NEP.

According to 2010 statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nursing and residential care facilities experienced one of the highest rates of lost workdays due to injuries and illnesses of all major American industries. 

The incidence rate for cases involving days away from work in the nursing and residential care sector was 2.3 times higher than that of all private industry as a whole, despite the availability of feasible controls to address hazards. 

The data further indicate that an overwhelming proportion of the injuries within this sector were attributed to overexertion as well as to slips, trips and falls. 

Taken together, these 2 categories accounted for 62.5% of cases involving days away from work within this industry in 2010.


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