January 28, 2013
What is OSHA, what is its mission and how does it protect you? OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Mission of OSHA is “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance ” (OSHA). This agency administered the OSHA Act of 1970 which comprises of standards or rules for workers and employers and penalties for those who do not follow the established guidelines. This Act sets many standards across a multitude of industries; more importantly there are sets of established designed specifically for the medical field. The guidelines cover standard precautions, personal protective equipment (PPE) and handling contaminated waste to name a few. The standard precautions are “a set of procedures recognized by the CDC to reduce the chance of transmitting infectious microorganisms in any health care setting” (Goucher, 193). The universal rule of these procedures is to assume everybody has some kind of microorganism. There are a multitude of safeguards in place to keep medical employees and patients from coming into contact from blood or other bodily fluids. Some of these precautions include the following: Proper hand washing and use of alcohol based hand rubs. Proper hand washing with soap and water should be used after each contact with patient. An “alcohol-based hand rub is the preferred method for decontaminating hands, except when hands are visibly soiled (e.g., dirt, blood, body fluids), or after caring for patients with known or suspected infectious diarrhea (e.g. Clostridium difficile, norovirus), in which case soap and water should be used (CDC).” PPE involves special equipment worn by medical staff for protection against infectious materials. PPE involves gloves, gowns, goggles and face...